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Promisingness Judgements in Knowledge Building

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Bodong Chen
added a research item
Knowledge Building is a SMART pedagogy that encourages students to take collective responsibility for knowledge advancement; Knowledge Forum technology is designed to support them in this work. This study explores the application of a new method to assess the emergence and evolution of collective cognitive responsibility (CCR) based on peer valuation of impactful builders in an undergraduate course at the University of Granada. Scientometric and economic indices were adapted to analyze the equidistribution of impactful builders in the community and the flow of impact builders across various discussion threads and to identify features of students who were considered as impactful builders. Results point to the challenge of developing CCR in a university course where there is a lot of content to cover over a short period of time. While there are emergent impact builders and collaborators across the discussion topics, many students remained as less committed participants in the course. Students shared that impactful builders were those who shared new ideas and facilitated collective understanding. This study suggests that peer valuation of students’ contributions could be one way to approximate students’ engagement in CCR and potentially empower less committed participants to become impactful builders and collaborators. Further implications are discussed within the context of education for knowledge creation.
Bodong Chen
added a research item
"知识建构"(Knowledge Building)理论是多伦多大学安大略教育研究院Marlene Scardamalia和Carl Bereiter两位教授于上世纪90年代提出的建构主义理论。在历经20多年的发展之后,其理论、教学法和技术手段已自成体系。知识建构理论认为:一般的建构主义教学以完成一系列任务和活动为导向,学生对为什么进行这些活动缺乏理解和掌控,属于"浅层"建构主义;而知识建构理论推崇的是"深层"建构,它以发展学习社区内的公共知识为目标,学生是积极的认知者,须共同承担认知责任。知识建构的基本观点被概括为12条基本原则,用作设计教学法和开发技术工具的基础。知识建构理论与实践已波及包括加拿大、美国、西班牙、新加坡和香港等18个国家和地区,涉及中小学科学、数学、社会、历史等多个学科教学,被应用到基础教育、高等教育、职业教育等多个领域。虽然知识建构理论前些年已由少数学者介绍到中国,但至今仍没有实质性的教学应用。究其原因,分科课程设置、大班教学和应试体制等现实条件是制约该理论在中国应用的主要因素。文章在介绍知识建构理论发展历史、基本原则和支撑技术的基础上,结合中国教育现状,探讨引进与应用该理论的策略,希望能对推进中国当前的课程改革、探讨新的教学思想与方法提供参考。
Bodong Chen
added 3 research items
The evaluation of promisingness is central to knowledge building and knowledge creation but remains largely unexplored. As part of a design-based research program to support promisingness judgments, the present study implemented an intervention in a sixth grade science class, with the goal of exploring the potential of promisingness judgments to foster scientific understanding and epistemic beliefs. Aided by a Promising Ideas Tool and pedagogical supports designed for this intervention, students explored the concept of promisingness, judged the promisingness of their community ideas, and engaged in iterative cycles of idea refinement. Results indicated that students were capable of improving their understanding of promisingness and making promisingness judgments deemed sensible by domain experts. The conceptual understanding and epistemic beliefs displayed by students improved over the course of the intervention, and such improvement happened in tandem with students’ understanding of promisingness. The implications of this exploratory study and future research are discussed.
Knowledge creation requires identifying and pursuing promising ideas—ideas that in their nascent form may not seem like much but that with development could grow into something big. The goal of our research is to develop a tool to explore the concept of promisingness and "big ideas," especially elementary school students' ability to make "promisingness judgments" regarding ideas in peer discourse. Toward this end we developed a "Big Ideas" tool to facilitate students' selection of the ideas they thought were promising in their online discourse. A study conducted in two grade 5/6 classes examined the nature of "big ideas" selected from the online discourse of younger Grade 4 students. A preliminary analysis indicated that students tended to identify as promising important facts and questions in the Grade 4 discourse. We explore the use of the tool and students' initial, intuitive concept of promising "big ideas" in an effort to inform future work in designing tools, language, and techniques to facilitate the concept of promisingness.
Evaluating promisingness of ideas is an important but underdeveloped aspect of knowledge building. The goal of this research was to examine the extent to which Grade 3 students could make promisingness judgments to facilitate knowledge-building discourse. A Promising Ideas Tool was added to Knowledge Forum software to better support knowledge‐building discourse. The tool helped students select promising ideas from their group’s written online discourse and then aggregate and display selections to support collective decision making regarding most promising directions for subsequent work. Students knew in advance that their selections would influence the direction of group work, and through iterations of procedures came to better understand how individually selected ideas would become the focus of class discussions and next knowledge‐building efforts. The basic design was repeated over two cycles of promising-idea selections, discussions, and follow-up activity to refine ideas. Qualitative and quantitative results indicated that students as young as 8 years of age could make promisingness judgments benefiting their community. Through use of the Promising Ideas Tool and discussion based on results from its use, Grade 3 students achieved significantly greater knowledge advances than students not engaged in promisingness judgments and discussions.
Bodong Chen
added 2 research items
Knowledge creation depends on pursuit of promising possibilities. This paper reports a case study of a graduate-level course, with promisingness judgments incorporated as an explicit goal of course work. The top-level goal for the course was to have students take collective responsibility for "the creation of an assessment of collaborative knowledge creation." This paper presents the pedagogical design of the course, describes technological affordances to support promisingness judgments, and discusses preliminary findings.
The ability to identify promising ideas is an important but obscure and undeveloped aspect of knowledge building. The goal of this research was to examine the extent to which young students can make promisingness judgments and, as a result, engage in more effective knowledge building. Toward this end we embedded a design experiment in a Grade 3 classroom. In this experiment students were engaged in discussion and reflection of the concept of promisingness and used a Promising Ideas tool to identify promising ideas in their written online discourse. They used the tool for two refinements of idea selections to focus ongoing community dialogue. Results suggest that students as young as 8 years of age can make promisingness judgments that facilitate knowledge advancement in their work. These results inform future work in classroom interventions and tool development to promote promisingness judgments in collaborative knowledge building.