INTRODUCTION A challenge posed by Computer Support for Collaborative Learning is to stimulate the development of communities of learners. ComputerSupported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) as proposed by Scardamalia, Bereiter, and their colleagues is an educational philosophy for the design of computer-supported learning environments (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996; Scardamalia, Bereiter, Brett, Burtis, Calhoun, & Smith-Lea, 1992; Scardamalia, Bereiter, & Lamon, 1994; Scardamalia, Bereiter, McLean, Swallow, & Woodruff, 1989). CSILE software (i.e., regular CSILE 1.5 and Knowledge Forum) is a communal database system in which learners are allowed to externalize their thoughts

mainly in the form of texts and/or graphics called “notes” and then engage in collaboratively organizing their knowledge as objects to advance their communal understanding as a whole. This communal database structure has been found to provide learners with opportunities to be involved in knowledge advancement through distribution of their expertise (e.g., Oshima, Bereiter, & Scardamalia, 1995; Oshima, Scardamalia, & Bereiter, 1996) and to eventually facilitate learners’ conceptual understanding of complex scientific phenomena in comparison with traditional instructions (e.g., Scardamalia et al., 1992). Thus, empirical studies so far have shown that CSILE is a powerful tool for transforming learning activities into knowledge building.