Jianwei Zhang

Jianwei Zhang
University at Albany, The State University of New York | UAlbany · Department of Educational Theory and Practice

PhD

About

97
Publications
29,036
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,070
Citations
Introduction
Jianwei Zhang's research explores social and cognitive dynamics of collaborative knowledge building supported by new technology-based environments. Funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) and other sources, Dr. Zhang is leading an interdisciplinary team to create pedagogical and technological innovations for supporting student-driven knowledge building and collaboration, including cross-classroom /culture connections.
Additional affiliations
August 2007 - present
February 2004 - August 2007
University of Toronto
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2000 - August 2003
Tsinghua University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
July 2000 - July 2000
Beijing Normal University
Field of study
  • Educational psychology

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
See full text with open access at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10508400802581676 This article reports a design experiment conducted over three successive school years, with the teacher's goal of having his Grade 4 students assume increasing levels of collective responsibility for advancing their knowledge of optics. Classroom prac...
Article
Full-text available
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10508406.2018.1444992 This research integrates theory building, technology design, and design-based research to address a central challenge pertaining to collective inquiry and knowledge building: how can student-driven, ever-deepening inquiry processes become socially organized and pedagogically suppo...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores boundary-crossing interaction between two grade 5/6 science classrooms that operated as knowledge building communities. The two classrooms studied human body systems with the support of the Knowledge Forum over a ten-week period. The knowledge building practice integrated student-driven inquiry and discourse within each communit...
Preprint
FREE FULL TEXT access at https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21717 As a hallmark of authentic science practices, students need to enact epistemic agency to shape/reshape the key aspects of their inquiry work as a collaborative community. This study elaborates an emergent temporal mechanism for engaging students' epistemic agency: "reflective structuratio...
Article
This study explores emergent reflective structuration as a new form of shared regulation. The purpose is to support students in taking on high-level epistemic agency as they co-configure dynamic inquiry pathways that unfold over long periods of time. With the teacher’s support, students not only regulate their inquiry and collaboration following pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study draws on a learning ecologies framework to explore how the teachers and students in a Grade 5 knowledge building (KB) community co-constructed new learning spaces to sustain their science inquiry during COVID-19 school closures. Using an interactional ethnographic approach, we conducted detailed analysis of observation notes, videos of w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigates using ongoing learning analytics to support two teachers' reflective noticing and responsive scaffolding in knowledge building communities. Students in four Grade 5 science classrooms collaborated to investigate the human body systems for four months using an online platform: Idea Thread Mapper (ITM). The teachers kept weekl...
Article
Full-text available
See print version at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11412-022-09371-z Research on computer-supported collaborative learning faces the challenge of extending student collaboration to higher social levels and enabling cross-boundary interaction. This study investigated collaborative knowledge building among four Grade 5 classroom commu...
Preprint
Full-text available
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-021-09353-7 This study explores emergent reflective structuration as a new form of shared regulation. The purpose is to support students in taking on high-level epistemic agency as they co-configure dynamic inquiry pathways that unfold over long periods of time. With the teacher's support, students not only regulate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A collaborative inquiry approach to science learning has the potential to develop students' higher-order thinking skills, deep understandings and induce into productive dispositions. To realize this potential, students need to gain control over their knowledge advancement in terms of adapting collaborative goals and reinventing their inquiry practi...
Conference Paper
Enabling collaborative interaction across social levels over longer timescales represents a key research challenge in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). This study investigates a multi-layer interaction approach to cross-community knowledge building supported by the design of Idea Thread Mapper (ITM). A design-based research study wa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The development of student epistemic agency is a vitally important goal for science education across all grade levels. This case study aims to provide a detailed account of the implementation of student epistemic agency-driven science practices over a whole school year with an emergent design approach. Qualitative analyses of teacher-researcher co-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study provides a precise tracing of how a teacher engaged in student-centered reflective noticing and envisioning to facilitate yearlong scientific inquiry in two grade 5 knowledge building communities. On a weekly basis, the teacher updated a reflective journal in which she recorded her noticing of students’ ideas, connection, and inquiry nee...
Chapter
Constructionism, since its inception, has sought to explore a new creative vision for the future of education. Driven by the notion of “child as builder” (Papert, 1980), a rich set of technological and social innovations has been developed to support students’ creative work with designs and ideas (Halverson & Peppler, 2018; Resnick, 2017). The prom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Regulation of open-ended collaborative inquiry is an emergent, collective process. The study explores emergent regulation of knowledge building in a class of fourth graders inquiring light. The analysis traces knowledge building discourse and semiotic artifacts that enable a heterochronic link between actions occurred on different timescales.
Conference Paper
See full text at See https://repository.isls.org/handle/1/6402 This study aims to improve student knowledge-building discourse with automated analysis and feedback. The automated analysis detects different levels of discourse contributions including questions, ideas, and information sources, achieving an acceptable level of consistency with human...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study analyzed the engagement of eight English as a New Language (ENL) students in collaborative science inquiry over a school year in Grade 5. The science inquiry integrated knowledge-building discourse in the classroom and online. The data sources included classroom observations, records of face-to-face and online discourse, and interviews w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This qualitative study examines the engagement of eight English as a New Language (ENL) learners in a Grade 5 science program implemented using a collaborative, knowledge-building approach. The fifth-graders studied three science topics over a school year with the support of the Idea Thread Mapper platform. Rich data were collected including classr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined how two grade 5 teachers in science engaged in reflective noticing and envisioning of their students’ idea progress during about a four-month-long knowledge-building initiative supported by embedded discourse analytics. The qualitative analysis of teachers’ weekly reflective journals identified seven focal points of reflective n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research project aims to address the intra-and inter-community challenges associated with student-driven knowledge building over longer terms and across classrooms, in which students take on collective responsibility for charting the course of sustained inquiry and dynamic interaction. We designed the Idea Thread Mapper (ITM) system to support...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The current research investigated Grade 5 students’ reflective discourse during their co-design of an ecological concept map as a way to assess collaborative knowledge building. The result showed that students sustainably built on each other’s ideas and inquiries about various ecological concepts to advance their scientific knowledge as a community...
Research
Full-text available
This workshop aims to engage participants in discussing and deriving the problem-space surrounding assessment and environment for knowledge building. The problem-space aims to map the types of data (text-based and multimodal data), hypotheses of the learning attributes (visible and invisible) to be derived from these data, and the related annotatio...
Article
Full-text available
A learning community works with a collective knowledge space where members contribute and interact with one another’s ideas to advance their community’s knowledge. This study aims to explore designs of collective knowledge space to support cross‐community interaction. A design experiment was conducted in four grade 5 classrooms with the support of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The present study investigates the classroom and online discourse of a grade 5 science class to trace how scientific ideas were advanced in knowledge building. The data analysis examined the idea content and interaction reflected in the discourse, in terms of language use, interactive patterns, and flow of idea advancement. Specifically, discourse...
Article
Full-text available
Full text sharing: https://rdcu.be/14Ii This study explores the reflective processes by which a grade 5 science community co-constructed shared inquiry structures to focus and guide its inquiry about human body systems over a school year supported by a collaborative online environment. The co-constructed structures included a list of collective...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explores how fifth graders and their teacher co-constructed shared epistemic objects as collective directions of inquiry to sustain knowledge building about the human body system with Knowledge Forum over a whole school year. Qualitative analyses of observation notes, classroom videos, teacher reflective journal, and student artifacts el...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports the second iteration of a design experiment to enable cross-community interaction among knowledge building communities. Students from four grade 5 classrooms studied human body systems with the support of Knowledge Forum over a school year. As the students conducted focused inquiry and discourse within their own community, they r...
Conference Paper
This study quantitatively and qualitatively examined the lexical bundles and academic words that students in a Grade 5 science classroom used in their online discourse in relation to their communicative influence. The students investigated human body systems over an eight-month period with the support of Knowledge Forum. Students’ online posts were...
Article
Full-text available
This research integrates theory building, technology design, and design-based research to address a central challenge pertaining to collective inquiry and knowledge building: how can student-driven, ever-deepening inquiry processes become socially organized and pedagogically supported in a community? Different from supporting inquiry using pre-desi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The symposium focuses on the analysis of the knowledge building process e.g. idea improvement conversations by which students get to a high quality of knowledge and understanding. Learning Analytics (LA) focuses on the collection, measure and analysis of data about learners and their contexts (Long & Siemens, 2011). LA tools are normally rooted in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The key to understanding how knowledge building as a social practice can be possibly sustained lies in the dynamic relationship between agency and social structures that presuppose each other. My dissertation contributes to a dynamic approach to inquiry-based knowledge practices, reflective structuration, aiming to investigate the critical social s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explores cross-community interaction in two Grade 5/6 knowledge building communities. The two classrooms studied human body systems with the support of Knowledge Forum over a 10-week period. As the students conducted focused inquiry and discourse within their own community, they reviewed productive threads of ideas and posted syntheses i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigates how a Grade 5 science community co-constructed collective structures of inquiry in the form of " research cycles " to support sustained inquiry in a whole school year. Qualitative analysis of field notes, classroom videos, and student notebooks documented the evolution of research cycles. Analysis of student interviews showe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study was conducted in two Grade 5 classes (A and B) taught by the same teacher in two successive school years. Each year students studied human body systems over a whole school year using Knowledge Forum (KF). Both classes worked with an idea-centered, principle-based framework of knowledge building; students in class B (year 2) particularly...
Poster
Full-text available
This study explores the dynamic process by which a Grade 5 knowledge building community continually expanded its collective epistemic structure, represented as shared epistemic objects of inquiry, to support inquiry practices across a whole school year with Knowledge Forum. Qualitative analyses of rich classroom data elaborated the multilevel refle...
Article
Full-text available
Innovation and knowledge creation call for high-level epistemic agency and design-mode thinking, two competencies beyond the traditional scopes of schooling. In this paper, we discuss the need for learning analytics to support these two competencies, and more broadly, the demand for education for innovation. We ground these arguments on a distincti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This symposium presents our efforts to reconceptualize learning spaces from their traditional notions as bound and immutable to a view in which the physical and social boundaries are flexible and dynamically connected to the learning itself. We present the work from five international research centers that consider space as a multi-dimensional medi...
Article
Full-text available
Diffusing inquiry-based pedagogy in schools for deep and lasting change requires teacher transformation and capacity building. This study characterizes the professional identity of three elementary school teachers who have productively engaged in inquiry-based classroom practice using knowledge building pedagogy and Knowledge Forum, a collaborative...
Article
Full-text available
Diffusing inquiry-based pedagogy in schools for deep and lasting change requires teacher transformation and capacity building. This study characterizes the professional identity of three elementary school teachers who have productively engaged in inquiry-based classroom practice using knowledge building pedagogy and Knowledge Forum, a collaborative...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explored the dynamic process by which pragmatic structure of inquiry in the form of research cycles was co-generated and adapted in a grade five knowledge-building community through the ongoing reflective discourse and practices over an academic year. Qualitative analysis of field notes, classroom videos, and student notebooks elaborated...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One key aspect of the educational transformation into the modern era has been the transition of spaces from being immutable to negotiable. In light of the technological, pedagogical, and theoretical innovations that have accompanied this transformation, this international panel discussion brings together five leading researcher centers that conside...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study characterizes the identity of three elementary teachers who have productively engaged in innovative classroom practices using knowledge building pedagogy and Knowledge Forum, a collaborative online environment. Grounded theory analysis of teacher interviews reveals five distinctive features of the teachers' identity: (a) innovative visio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research explores the metacognitive and discursive processes by which a grade 5 community formulated shared deepening goals to direct its inquiry about the human body across a whole school year. This inquiry was facilitated by Idea Thread Mapper (ITM) that supported the community's metacognitive reflection and conversations. Qualitative analys...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study was conducted in two Grade 5/6 classrooms that studied electricity over a three-month period using Knowledge Forum. Classroom A used Idea Thread Mapper (ITM)—a timeline-based collective discourse mapping tool—to engage in ongoing metadiscourse to review collective advances and gaps. Classroom B did not engage in this reflective practice...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This mixed methods study was conducted in a grades 5/6 classroom with 22 students who conducted collaborative knowledge building about human body systems using Knowledge Forum over a two-month period. Around the midpoint of this inquiry, students used Idea Thread Mapper (ITM) to engage in metadiscourse (metacognitive conversations) to review collec...
Article
This exploratory study tested the use of machine learning techniques, in particular, probabilistic topic models, to conduct automated analysis of the online discourse a Grade 4 knowledge-building community that investigated optics over three months using Knowledge Forum. Using the Latent Dirchilet Allocation (LDA) model, we extracted ten distinct a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the design of Idea Thread Mapper (ITM), a timeline-based collective knowledge-mapping tool that interoperates with Knowledge Forum and potentially other learning platforms. Using ITM, students engage in collaborative, metacognitive conversations to identify "juicy" topics that have emerged from their knowledge-building discourse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigates metacognitive conversations in two grade 5/6 classrooms that engaged in knowledge building about the human body using Knowledge Forum. The metacognitive conversations were supported by Idea Thread Mapper (ITM), which makes collective progress in online discourse visible for collaborative reflection. The analyses elaborate th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study characterizes the identity of three elementary teachers who have productively engaged in innovative, inquiry-based classroom practice using Knowledge Building pedagogy and Knowledge Forum, a collaborative online environment. Grounded theory analysis of teacher interviews, supplemented with field observations, highlights five distinctive...
Chapter
Full-text available
Knowledge building refers to social and collaborative processes to advance knowledge and ideas of value to a community, with individual learning and growth of members as an important by-product. Cyber environments to support knowledge building (e.g. Knowledge Forum) provide networked knowledge spaces where members contribute ideas and continually i...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined two complementary designs of metadiscourse to foster collective responsibility for sustained, progressive inquiry in two comparable Grade 5/6 classrooms that investigated astronomy. Class A's metadiscourse focused on reviewing student questions to formulate deepening goals. Class B's focused on co-monitoring disciplinary key con...
Article
Full-text available
This study looks into the reading practice in a Grade 4 knowledge building community that involved 22 students and a veteran teacher. The students investigated light over a three-month period supported by Knowledge Forum, a networked collaborative knowledge-building environment. The classroom designs encouraged the students to take on high-level re...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable knowledge building requires working with emergent rather than fixed goal structures, and opportunism in knowledge work rather than fixed routines. Thus the pedagogical model requires teacher innovation, surrounding a principled rather than procedural approach to teaching. Using social network analysis and other quantitative methods, thi...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores Knowledge Building as a principle-based innovation at an elementary school and makes a case for a principle- versus procedure-based approach to educational innovation, supported by new knowledge media. Thirty-nine Knowledge Building initiatives, each focused on a curriculum theme and facilitated by nine teachers over eight years...
Article
Full-text available
This secondary data analysis examined a set of social interaction (e.g., social network patterns), content (e.g., questions, ideas), and lexical measures (e.g., academic words, domain terms) applied to a Knowledge Forum discourse database created by 22 fourth-graders as they investigated optics over a four-month period. Knowledge advancement was ev...
Article
Full-text available
Online discourse from a class of 22 students (11 boys and 11 girls) was analysed to assess advances in conceptual understanding and literacy. The students worked over a two-year period (Grades 3-4), during which they contributed notes to an online Knowledge Building environment—Knowledge Forum®. Contributions revealed that both boys and girls produ...
Article
The Knowledge Society Network (KSN) “takes advantage of new knowledge media to maximize and democratize society’s knowledge-creating capacity” (www.ikit.org/KSN). This article synthesizes the principles and designs of this network which were initiated over 15 years ago, and presents an exploratory study of interactions in the KSN over four years, e...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined growth in graphical literacy for students contributing to an online, multimedia, communal environment as they advanced their understanding of biology, history and optics. Their science and history studies started early in Grade 3 and continued to the end of Grade 4; students did not receive instruction in graphics production, no...
Article
Full-text available
Many reform initiatives adopt a reductionist, proceduralized approach to cultural change, assuming that deep changes can be realized by introducing new classroom activities, textbooks, and technological tools. This article elaborates a complex system perspective of learning culture: A learning culture as a complex system involves macro-level proper...
Article
Full-text available
Productive knowledge work and high-level literacy are essential for engagement in a Knowledge society. In the research reported in this article, students were engaged in sustained collaborative knowledge building in science and social studies. The vocabulary growth of 22 students over Grades 3 and 4 was traced, based on their entries to Knowledge F...
Conference Paper
This study elaborates collaborative productivity as self-sustaining processes along with the role of the teacher in a knowledge building community. The participants were 22 fourth-graders, who investigated light over a three-month period facilitated by a veteran teacher with the support of Knowledge Forum®. Content analysis of the students' portfol...
Article
Full-text available
This article commenting on Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes (2009) examines the potential strengths and weaknesses of Web 2.0 in supporting student collaborative creativity in light of sociocultural conditions of knowledge creation. Weaknesses and challenges are identified related to the embedded and dispersed representation of community knowledge, we...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores knowledge building in a community identified by Bielaczyc and Collins (2006) as a hotbed community--a community in which knowledge creation has taken on a life of its own. The practices of six elementary schoolteachers are analyzed to inform the development of teachers' knowledge-building practices and to better understand how t...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines one major research journal from China and one from the United States. The study compares the two journals with regard to three questions: 1) Who is doing research published in the journals? 2) What are the major issues and concerns represented in the journals? 3) What research methodologies are favoured in the journals? The au...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable learning innovation requires the development of strong, innovative teacher communities. Through analyses of interview data, reflection journals, and field observations, this ethnographic study investigated how teachers at an elementary school sustained the knowledge building innovation. Key conducive factors identified included: (a) Sha...
Article
Full-text available
With theoretical advances conceptualizing learning as a social, distributed and collective process, there is a need to capture and assess community knowledge— knowledge as a social product that has an out-in-the-world existence and has value to a community. There has now been much progress in analyzing collaborative processes and interactions in CS...