An alternative theoretical framework for analyzing and designing computer-supported collaborative learning environments is introduced. Bateson’s theory (1973) is used as a starting point for considering in what sense the specific dialogical conditions and qualities of virtual environments may support learning. We need more stringent analytical approaches of research that relate communicative qualities of virtual contexts to qualities of the collaborative knowledge-building process. This approach suggests that new didactic and instructional methods, addressing the learner’s communicative awareness at a meta-level, need to be developed in order to fully utilize the interactive and reflective potential of online collaborative learning. A deeper understanding of the reflective nature of the online environment and its potential for enhancing intellectual amplification will give rise to the birth of new and more innovative designs of online collaborative learning.