Advertisement

Instructional Science

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 533–561 | Cite as

Supporting communities of learners in the elementary classroom: the common knowledge learning environment

  • Cresencia Fong
  • James D. Slotta
Article

Abstract

We report on a multi-year design study of a technology environment called Common Knowledge (CK), designed to support learning communities in K-12 classrooms. Students represent their ideas in the form of notes, add their ideas to a collective knowledge base, and use this knowledge base as a resource for their subsequent inquiries. CK supports teachers’ orchestration of inquiry in blended learning environments, scaffolding the learning community as it progresses through a complex inquiry script. A community knowledge base is dynamically visualized on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard, serving as a persistent visual reference that allows teachers to gauge the progress of the class, identify patterns, gaps or conflicts, and engage the students in extemporaneous or planned discussions of their ideas. We present enactments of two design iterations in which CK was integrated within broader elementary science units where the curriculum was guided by a theoretical framework called Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI). For each version, we analyzed the role of CK in scaffolding student inquiry, with a focus on teachers’ facilitation of productive whole-class discussions. Analysis of teachers’ orchestration patterns revealed a “3R” orchestration cycle (Reflect–Refocus–Release) that teachers used repeatedly within a single class session, to guide reflective community discussion and refocus students’ inquiry. We also identified four distinct teacher discourse orientations, finding that these were invoked in different proportions depending on the orchestrational needs of the inquiry script. Synthesizing our findings, we discuss the role of CK within a classroom activity system for learning communities.

Keywords

Orchestration Scripting Discourse Collective inquiry Collaboration Blended learning Technology-enhanced learning 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was made possible through the generous support of educators, administrators, students, and parents at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School; OISE/University of Toronto; cross-lab collaborations between the ENCORE Lab at OISE/University of Toronto and the Learning Technologies Group at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No. 410-2011-0474), as well as from the US National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1324977). We are grateful to Instructional Science reviewers and guest editors Dani Ben-Zvi, Katerine Bielaczyc, and Yotam Hod for careful review.

References

  1. Acosta, A., & Slotta, J. D. (2013). Evaluating knowledge community curricula in secondary science using model-based design research. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Knowledge Building Summer Institute. Puebla, Mexico: Institute for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology.Google Scholar
  2. Amiel, T., & Reeves, T. C. (2008). Design-based research and educational technology: Rethinking technology and the research agenda. Educational Technology & Society, 11(4), 29–40.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, R. C., Chinn, C., Chang, J., Waggoner, M., & Yi, H. (1997). On the logical integrity of children’s arguments. Cognition and Instruction, 15(2), 135–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aronson, E. (1978). The jigsaw classroom. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Asia Society Center for Global Education, & OECD. (2018). Teaching for global competence in a rapidly changing world. Paris: OECD/Asia Society.  https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264289024-en.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, P. (2004). On the theoretical breadth of design-based research in education. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 243–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (2008). Toward research-based innovation. In Centre for Educational Research & Innovation (Ed.), Innovating to learn, learning to innovate (pp. 67–87). Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (2012). Theory building and the pursuit of understanding in history, social studies, and literature. In M. J. Lawson & J. R. Kirby (Eds.), The quality of learning. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bielaczyc, K., & Collins, A. (1999). Learning communities in classrooms: A reconceptualization of educational practice. Instructional-Design Theories and Models, 2, 269–292.Google Scholar
  10. Bielaczyc, Katerine, & Collins, A. (2006). Fostering knowledge-creating communities. In A. M. O’Donnell, C. E. Hmelo-Silver, & G. Erkens (Eds.), Collaborative learning, reasoning, and technology (pp. 37–60). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, A. L. (1994). The advancement of learning. Educational Researcher, 23(8), 4–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brown, A. L. (1997). Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters. American Psychologist, 52(4), 399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brown, A. L., & Campione, J. C. (1996). Communities of learning and thinking, or a context by any other name. In P. Woods (Ed.), Contemporary issues in teaching and learning (pp. 120–126). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Chen, B. (2016). Fostering scientific understanding and epistemic beliefs through judgments of promisingness. Educational Technology Research and Development. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11423-016-9467-0?utm_content=bufferee759&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.
  15. Chen, B., Scardamalia, M., Resendes, M., Chuy, M., & Bereiter, C. (2012). Students’ intuitive understanding of promisingness and promisingness judgments to facilitate knowledge advancement. In The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) (Vol. 1, pp. 111–118).Google Scholar
  16. Chinn, C. A., O’Donnell, A. M., & Jinks, T. S. (2000). The structure of discourse in collaborative learning. The Journal of Experimental Education, 69(1), 77–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cobb, P., Confrey, J., Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2003). Design experiments in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 9–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cober, R., McCann, C., Moher, T., & Slotta, J. D. (2013). Aggregating students’ observation in support of community knowledge and discourse. In N. Rummel, M. Kapur, M. Nathan, & S. Puntambekar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) (Vol. 1, pp. 121–128). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).Google Scholar
  19. Coburn, C. E., & Penuel, W. R. (2016). Research-practice partnerships in education: Outcomes, dynamics, and open questions. Educational Researcher, 45(1), 48–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Collins, A., Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 15–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cress, U., & Kimmerle, J. (2013). Successful knowledge building needs group awareness: Interaction analysis of a 9th grade CSCL biology lesson. In Productive multivocality in the analysis of group interactions (pp. 495–509). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  22. De Jong, T. (2006). Technological advances in inquiry learning. Science, 312(5773), 532–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Design-Based Research Collective. (2003). Design-based research: An emerging paradigm for educational inquiry. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 5–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dillenbourg, P. (2002). Over-scripting CSCL: The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design. In P. A. Kirschner (Ed.), Three worlds of CSCL: Can we support CSCL? (pp. 61–91). Heerlen: Open Universiteit Nederland.Google Scholar
  25. Dillenbourg, P. (2013). Design for classroom orchestration. Computers & Education, 69, 485–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dillenbourg, P., & Jermann, P. (2007). Designing integrative scripts. Scripting computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 275–301). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Erickson, F. (1982). Classroom discourse as improvisation: Relationships between academic task structure and social participation structure in lessons. In L. C. Wilkinson (Ed.), Communicating in the classroom (pp. 153–181). New York, NY: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  28. Fischer, F., Kollar, I., Stegmann, K., & Wecker, C. (2013a). Toward a script theory of guidance in computer-supported collaborative learning. Educational Psychologist, 48(1), 56–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fischer, F., Slotta, J. D., Dillenbourg, P., Kollar, I., Stegmann, K., Wecker, C., et al. (2013). Scripting and orchestration: Recent theoretical advances. In N. Rummel, M. Kapur, M. Nathan, & S. Puntambekar (Eds.), Conference Proceedings of the 10th Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) (Vol. 1, pp. 564–571). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).Google Scholar
  30. Fong, C., Cober, R. M., Messina, R., Moher, T., Murray, J., Peebles, B., et al. (2015a). The 3R orchestration cycle: Fostering multi-modal inquiry discourse in a scaffolded inquiry environment. In O. Lindwall, P. Häkkinen, T. Koschmann, P. Tchounikine, & S. R. Ludvigsen (Eds.), Exploring the material conditions of learning: The computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) conference 2015 (Vol. 1, pp. 39–46). Gothenburg: The International Society of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
  31. Fong, C., Cober, R. M., Moher, T., & Slotta, J. D. (2015b). Spatial mapping of inquiry discourse in the classroom through knowledge visualization. In T. Moher, & J. D. Slotta (Chairs), Knowledge Construction in the Instrumented Classroom: Supporting Student Investigations of Their Physical Learning Environment. In O. Lindwall, P. Häkkinen, T. Koschmann, P. Tchounikine, & S. R. Ludvigsen (Eds.), Exploring the material conditions of learning: The computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) conference 2015 (Vol. 2, pp. 634–635). Gothenburg: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).Google Scholar
  32. Fong, C., Pascual-Leone, R., & Slotta, J. D. (2012). The role of discussion in orchestrating inquiry. In J. van Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson, & P. Reimann (Eds.), The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012)—Short Papers, Symposia, and Abstracts (Vol. 2, pp. 68–69). Sydney, NSW: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).Google Scholar
  33. Forte, A. (2015). The new information literate: Open collaboration and information production in schools. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1–17.Google Scholar
  34. Hod, Y. (2017). Future learning spaces in schools: Concepts and designs from the learning sciences. Journal of Formative Design in Learning, 1(2), 99–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hod, Y., Basil-Shachar, J., & Sagy, O. (2018). The role of productive social failure in fostering creative collaboration: A grounded study exploring a classroom learning community. Thinking Skills and Creativity.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2018.03.006.Google Scholar
  36. International Society for Technology in Education. (2016). ISTE Standards for Students. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students-2016.
  37. Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Cambridge. MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  38. Kollar, I., Fischer, F., & Slotta, J. D. (2007). Internal and external scripts in computer-supported collaborative inquiry learning. Learning & Instruction, 17(6), 708–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kolodner, J. L. (2007). The roles of scripts in promoting collaborative discourse in learning by design. In F. Fischer, I. Kollar, H. Mandl, & J. M. Haake (Eds.), Scripting computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 237–262). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kuhn, D. (1993). Science as argument: Implications for teaching and learning scientific thinking. Science Education, 77(3), 319–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lee, M. J. W., McLoughlin, C., & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  43. Linn, M. C., Bell, P., & Davis, E. A. (2004). Internet environments for science education (pp. 315–339). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Mehan, H. (1979). Learning lessons: Social organization in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Moher, T. (2006). Embedded phenomena: Supporting science learning with classroom-sized distributed simulations. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in computing Systems (pp. 691–700). Montreal, Quebec: ACM.Google Scholar
  46. Moher, T., & Slotta, J. D. (2012). Embedded Phenomena for Knowledge Communities: Supporting complex practices and interactions within a community of inquiry in the elementary science classroom. In J. van Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson, & P. Reimann (Eds.), The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012)—Short papers, symposia, and abstracts (Vol. 2, pp. 64–71). Sydney, NSW: International Society of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
  47. Nassaji, H., & Wells, G. (2000). What’s the use of’triadic dialogue’? An investigation of teacher–student interaction. Applied Linguistics, 21(3), 376–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. National Research Council. (2012). Education for Life and Work: Guide for Practitioners. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/resource/13398/dbasse_084153.pdf.
  49. O’Connor, M. C., & Michaels, S. (1993). Aligning academic task and participation status through revoicing: Analysis of a classroom discourse strategy. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 24, 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. O’Connor, M. C., & Michaels, S. (1996). Shifting participant frameworks: Orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion. In D. Hicks (Ed.), Discourse, learning, and schooling (pp. 63–103). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. OECD. (2015). Schooling redesigned: Towards innovative learning systems, educational research and innovation. Paris, France: OECD Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264245914-en.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. OECD. (2017). The OECD handbook for innovative learning environments. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/the-oecd-handbook-for-innovative-learning-environments_9789264277274-en.
  53. Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1(2), 117–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2011). Framework for 21st century learning. Washington, DC: Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/1.__p21_framework_2-pager.pdf.
  55. Penuel, W. R., & DeBerger, A. H. (2011). Sample of contingent pedagogies project materials. Menlo Park: SRI International. Retrieved from http://contingentpedagogies.org/research.html.
  56. Peters, V. L., & Slotta, J. D. (2010). Scaffolding knowledge communities in the classroom: New opportunities in the Web 2.0 era. In M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), Designs for Learning Environments of the Future (pp. 205–232). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Polman, J. L. (2004). Dialogic activity structures for project-based learning environments. Cognition and Instruction, 22(4), 431–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Raes, A., Schellens, T., De Wever, B., Kollar, I., Wecker, C., Langer, S., et al. (2012). Scripting science inquiry learning in CSCL classrooms. In J. van Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson, & P. Reimann (Eds.), The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) (Vol. 2, pp. 118–125). Sydney, NSW: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).Google Scholar
  59. Roschelle, J., & Penuel, W. R. (2006). Co-design of innovations with teachers: Definition and dynamics. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Learning Sciences (pp. 606–612). Bloomington, Indiana.Google Scholar
  60. Sanders, E. B.-N., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-Design, 4(1), 5–18.Google Scholar
  61. Sandoval, William A., & Reiser, B. J. (2004). Explanation driven inquiry: Integrating conceptual and epistemic scaffolds for scientific inquiry. Science Education, 88(3), 345–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Scardamalia, Marlene. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. Liberal Education in a Knowledge Society, 97, 67–98.Google Scholar
  63. Scardamalia, Marlene, & Bereiter, C. (1996). Student communities for the advancement of knowledge. Communications of the ACM, 39(4), 36–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology. In K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 97–118). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Schwarz, B., Dreyfus, T., Hadas, N., & Hershkowitz, R. (2004). Teacher guidance of knowledge construction. In Proceedings of the 28th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 4, pp. 169–176). Cape Town: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Retrieved from http://emis.ams.org/proceedings/PME28/RR/RR175_Schwarz.pdf.
  66. Sfard, A. (2007). When the rules of discourse change, but nobody tells you: Making sense of mathematics learning from a commognitive standpoint. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 16(4), 565–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Slotta, J. D. (2010). Evolving the classrooms of the future: The interplay of pedagogy, technology and community. In K. Makital-Siegl, J. Zottmann, F. Kaplan, & F. Fischer (Eds.), Classroom of the future: Orchestrating collaborative spaces (pp. 215–242). Rotterdam: Sense Press.Google Scholar
  68. Slotta, J. D. (2013). Knowledge Community and Inquiry. In Network of Associated Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLeS).Google Scholar
  69. Slotta, J. D., & Najafi, H. (2010). Knowledge communities in the classroom. In P. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (pp. 189–196). Oxford: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Slotta, J. D., & Najafi, H. (2012). Supporting collaborative knowledge construction with web 2.0 technologies. In N. Lavigne (Ed.), Emerging technologies for the classroom: A learning sciences perspective. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  71. Slotta, J. D., Tissenbaum, M., & Lui, M. (2013). Orchestrating of complex inquiry: Three roles for learning analytics in a smart classroom infrastructure. In D. Suthers, K. Verbert, E. Duval, & X. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (pp. 270–274). Leuven: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).Google Scholar
  72. Songer, N. B., & Linn, M. C. (1991). How do students’ views of science influence knowledge integration? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28(9), 761–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stahl, G. (2012). Traversing planes of learning. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 467–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Vygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wang, F., & Hannafin, M. J. (2005). Design-based research and technology-enhanced learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Weinberger, A., Stegmann, K., & Fischer, F. (2010). Learning to argue online: Scripted groups surpass individuals (unscripted groups do not). Computers in Human Behavior, 26(4), 506–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wertsch, J. V., & Smolka, A. L. B. (1994). Continuing the dialogue: Vygotsky, Bakhtin & Lotman. In H. Daniels (Ed.), Charting the agenda: Educational activity after Vygotsky (pp. 69–92). London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations