CoFFEE (Collaborative Face to Face Educational Environment) is a suite of applications that has been designed to let teachers and students cooperate during classroom discussions. Teachers can author and design CoFFEE sessions, where each step includes instances of different cooperative tools chosen in a significantly large set (more than 10 tools are currently available). The session is, then, executed in classroom/lab where the collaborative discussion takes place. All CoFFEE tools are highly configurable and, thanks to the concept of session, the functionalities can be adapted for schools of different grade and even for university courses.
From a technological point of view CoFFEE is an expandable framework: new collaborative functionalities can be added as autonomous components; each component can be developed independently from each other, sharing a common user interface. This result has been achieved by building CoFFEE as a rich framework since it offers a consistent set of basic services that can be used as building blocks for totally new collaborative components.
Keywords: Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL), computer supported argumentation, discussion support system, CoFFEE, collaborative tools, threaded discussion tool, graphical discussion tool, component based system, collaborative learning scripts, tailorability, collaborative framework.