[OH and IM are going to have a bout]
OH: "I'm definitely going to win this time. hhhha" (12-01)
IM: "Don't be too sure!" (12-02)
OH: "Maybe, you're right" (12-03)
IM: "But, in my forward-and-push days, I was hhh" (12-04)
OH: "hh, forward-and-push days, yeah." (12-05)
IM: "My wrestler has gotten a lot stronger than before, don't you think so?" (12-06)
OH: "Yeah, it's better than the previous one." (12-07)
In this fragment, IM looked back on his previous programming style by labeling it "forward -and-push days" (12-04). By this statement, IM's simple sequential programming style was transformed into a relic of the past, and IM's present status, i. e., advanced programmer, was highlighted. Through talking about IM's "forward-and-push days" together (12-04, 12-05), they made sure that both of them were sharing the same position: They are now advanced programmers together. In short, their shared identity as "advanced programmers" was formed on the foundation of their learning "history"; their learning trajectory was shaped by the historical accumulation of the mutual formation of their identities. It should be noted that the "history" was not a stable entity, but was formed through this very exchange, and it was utilized as a resource to form their "now".
The last exchange in this fragment (12-06, 12-07) is inconsistent with the fact that OH had never been able to defeat IM's "forward-and-push" wrestler no matter how hard he tried. This exchange shows that they were sharing the same perspective in viewing their activity. That is, both OH and IM were seeing their activity as "producing a strong wrestler through programming techniques" rather than "producing a strong wrestler through any means". From this shared perspective, IM's new program including "tons of IFELSEs" was seen as "stronger" than the previous program which was simply strong. This shared perspective is their learning achievement at this point in time.
The important thing is that their achievement was established through a continuous collaborative enterprise in which they had various conversations on their goals and tasks, their own and other's situations, their learning history, etc.
We discuss the AlgoArena system and a qualitative study in the AlgoArena classroom. The study revealed that (1) the identity of the "programmer" appeared in the process of learning, (2) an identity was formed and transformed through local interaction between students, in which they categorized themselves and others as "programmer" or "non-programmer", (3) there was complicated coordination between conflicting identities in the classroom, (4) identity formation was flexible depending on the characteristics of the interaction in which they were engaged, and (5) their learning trajectory was shaped by the historical accumulation of the mutual formation of their identity.
In conclusion, identity formation in the AlgoArena classroom was not a simple trajectory toward a fixed identity, but the process of participation in on-going formation and the transformation of identity through local interaction; AlgoArena provided learners with abundant and varied resources for the mutual formation of identity, i. e., learning.
Bödker, B. ( 1991) Through the interface: a human activity approach to user interface design, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Hillsdale.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., and Duguid, P. ( 1988) Situated cognition and the culture of learning, IRL Report No. IRL88-0008.
Engeström, Y. ( 1986) The zone of proximal development as the basic category of educational psychology, The Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 23-42.
Kato, H. and Ide, A. ( 1995) Using a game for social setting in a learning environment: AlgoArena -- a tool for learning software design, CSCL'95 Proceedings, pp. 195-199.
Koschmann, T. ( 1996) CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New Jersey.
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. ( 1991) Situated learning; legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge University Press.
Sacks, H. ( 1992) Lectures on conversation, Vol. 1, Basile Blackwell: Oxford.