Building technology enhanced learning contexts that work involves increasing our understanding of how we can model learners affective and cognitive profiles, the contexts within which they learn and the interactions between learner and context. In this paper we provide evidence that can inform the design of both models of learners and of their context. We explore the impact of children's goal orientation upon their collaborative interactions whilst completing computer-based tasks. This work suggests that mastery goals engender a willingness to engage in the process of argumentation and discussion that is an important feature of effective collaborative learning. By contrast, performance goals lead learners to try and demonstrate their ability using their collaborative partner to affirm their own competence. This work informs the design of motivational learner models in collaborative contexts. In addition, we found that it is possible to encourage a particular goal orientation in a learner through manipulations to the task presentation, and in so doing to engender more productive styles of collaborative interaction. This finding informs the design of the collaborative context.
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