Conversation Analysis and Collaborative Learning
As will be argued, CA o ers a new way of studying understanding as it is produced in interaction. Indeed, it o ers a new way of understanding understanding itself (Koschmann, 2011). To see how this is so we need to characterize what distinguishes CA research from other ways of studying interaction and review some of its important ndings. e list of studies comprising the CA literature is a long one, however, and numbers in the thousands. To help make this discussion manageable, we will focus on three articles published early on in the development of the eld, articles that came to serve as cornerstones for that literature. I will provide a brief synopsis of each of these articles and illustrate how the constructs they introduced can be applied to the task of describing a fragment of recorded interaction. I will then explain how these constructs relate to research on the organization of instruction generally and, more speci cally to research on instruction in settings of collaboration. e essay concludes by explaining how research on interactional organizations relates to understanding. Before launching into this exposition, however, let us begin by examining some of the essential features of CA research.