17 th Annual Knowledge Building Summer Institute Crossing the Educational Chasm: From the Basics to Creative Work with Ideas

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1 17t h Annua l KNOWL E DGE BUI L DI NG S UMME R I NS T I T UT E Cr os s i ng t he E duc a ona l Cha s m: F r om t he Ba s i c s t o Cr ea v e Wor k wi t h I dea s Aug us t 69, 2013 Uni v er s i da d I bea r oa mer i c a na, Puebl a, Me x i c o Pa per s

2 17 th Annual Knowledge Building Summer Institute Crossing the Educational Chasm: From the Basics to Creative Work with Ideas Conference Co-Organizers: Knowledge Building International (KBI) <http://ikit.org/kbi/> Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology (IKIT) <http://ikit.org/> IKIT Mexico <http://www.ikitmexico.org.mx/> Conference Chairs: Oscar Hernández López & Marlene Scardamalia Review Committee: Oscar Hernández López, Susana La Rosa, María Yadira Rosas Bravo Tomorrow s Innovators: Angela Durana Espinoza, Oscar Hernández López, Yadira Rosas A special thanks to the colleagues who agreed to help us with the review process: Stephane Allaire Rolf Baltzersen Merce Bernaus Stefano Cacciamani Bodong Chen Rose Chen Maria Chuy Suzanne de Froy Frank de Jong Fernando Diaz del Castillo Hamdi Erkunt Ola Erstad Bruce Forrester Nobuko Fujita Vincent Gagnon Enrique Gonzales Calixto Gutierrez Christine Hamel Oscar Hernandez Anne Hill Huang-Yao Hong Leila Lax Eddy Lee Wincy Lee Beatrice Ligorio Sandy McAuley Cesar Nunes Jun Oshima John Parry Angela Perez Don Philip Fleur Prinsen Richard Reeve Monica Resendes Yadira Rosas Javier Sanchez Pirita Seitamaa Hakkarainen Cherry Rose Tan Chris Teplovs Sinqin Tuya Jan van Aalst Johnny Yuen Jianwei Zhang Yibing Zhang i

3 17 th Annual Knowledge Building Summer Institute Crossing the Educational Chasm: From the Basics to Creative Work with Ideas The "chasm" referred to in the title of this conference is a metaphor for a condition that has serious social, economic, and personal consequences. On one side of the chasm are students whose deficiencies in basic academic skills and knowledge keep them from moving to the other side, where students have mastered the basics to a level judged sufficient for more advanced content and more challenging tasks. Although basic academic skills are of undeniable importance, the chasm itself is an artifact of educational beliefs. The key belief is that students must master the basics before they can undertake more challenging work with knowledge and ideas. Contrary to this belief is evidence that young children can work creatively with ideas -for instance, modifying ideas in the light of evidence- and that this enhances basic skills. We aim to provide powerful demonstrations and extensions of this finding and the reframing of practices and outcomes resulting from this reorientation. ii

4 Table of Contents Evaluating knowledge community curricula in secondary science using model-based design research Alisa Acosta, Jim Slotta Metadiscourse in Knowledge Building: A question about written or verbal metadiscourse Rolf Kristian Baltzersen Expanding the metadiscourse concept in knowledge building Rolf Kristian Baltzersen La importancia de las redes sociales como herramienta educativa en el Centro de Estudios Científicos y Tecnológicos No. 1 Nivel Medio Superior del Instituto Politécnico Nacional Ranulfo Dimitri Cab Cordero, Marco Antonio Hernández Pérez Effects of Different Implementations of The Embedded and Transformative Assessment Principle on Knowledge Building in Online University Courses Stefano Cacciamani, Vittore Perrucci Promisingness Judgments as Facilitators of Epistemic Growth and Conceptual Change Bodong Chen, Fernando Diaz del Castillo, Jim Slotta Napoleón era también bajo..." Lectura, escritura y orientación motivacional en una comunidad Knowledge Building de historia Lisa Cingolani, Stefano Cacciamani Las Tecnologías de información y comunicación (Tic s ) en educación indígena, nuevos espacios con pertinencia cultural y lingüística Salvador Galindo Llaguno Diseño y aplicación de un portal web como herramienta didáctica en la enseñanza-aprendizaje de la química en el nivel medio superior, Ariadna Berenice González Arenas, Enrique Gonzales Vergara Construcción de artefactos conceptuales a partir de foros de discusión en línea Oscar Ernesto Hernández López, Karen Huesca Viveros Influencia del clima institucional en la conducta de los adolescentes Ana María Hernández Reyes A Knowledge Building Discourse Analysis of Proportional Reasoning in Grade 1 Kendra Susanne Hutton, Bodong Chen, Joan Moss iii

5 A knowledge building journey: Reflections of New Zealand senior secondary teachers Kwok-Wing Lai Desarrollo de habilidades de pensamiento en la formación meta cognitiva del pensamiento crítico en los estudiantes de nuevo ingreso a la licenciatura en educación normal Olga Sara Lamela Rios Drawing out students voices: Students perceptions about learning science through Ideas First, a Knowledge Building approach John Ow, Katerine Bielaczyc La Identidad Cultural en la Educación Superior: El Caso de la Licenciatura en Educación Primaria para el Medio Indígena UPN-211 Eugenia Ramos Hipolito Effect of Formative Feedback on Enhancing Ways of Contributing to a Explanation-Seeking Dialogue in Grade 2 Monica Resendes Responsabilidad compartida a través de la implementación de webquest en los alumnos de primer grado de Telesecundaria Yolanda Ruiz Cervantes, Oscar Hernández López Farmtasia: A Case Study of Knowledge Building Processes in Game-Based Learning Cherry Rose Tan iv

6 Evaluating knowledge community curricula in secondary science using model-based design research Alisa Acosta, Jim Slotta, OISE/University of Toronto ABSTRACT: This paper describes a new approach to design-based research that utilizes a formal model of learning, mapped onto the curriculum design, to assess when, where, why and how the enacted design is achieving or failing to achieve its aims. Model-based design research (MBDR) goes beyond testing whether a particular intervention works or doesn t work, allowing researchers to characterize each player within the learning environment, comparing their beliefs, actions, and artifacts with the epistemic aims and assumptions built into the model, and then iteratively refine the design. MBDR refers to a formal theoretical model as a source of design constraint, allowing researchers to identify and justify their choice of design elements and the linkages between them. However this approach goes one step further and adds a means of evaluating curriculum designs in relation to the model. Evaluation thus occurs on two levels: (1) How true was the design to the model; and (2) How true was the enactment to the design. This paper provides a detailed case study of MBDR, including the model that underlies the design, and the two analyses that comprise the study. We evaluate a new secondary biology curriculum that was designed according to the Knowledge Community and Inquiry model, evaluating the design and enactment of the curriculum according to the model, and conclude with a discussion and recommendations for new epistemic elements within the model. 1. Introduction One domain of research that is highly relevant to 21 st century learning is that concerned with learning as a knowledge community (Brown & Campione, 1994; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1999; Bielczyc & Collins, 2005), where students are given a high level of agency and responsibility for developing their own questions, exchanging and critiquing ideas with peers, and even evaluating their own progress. Teachers become members of the classroom knowledge community, and participate as peers and mentors. The students within a knowledge community typically create a knowledge base of commonly held resources or ideas, which are accessed, re-negotiated, revised and applied during subsequent inquiry activities. Community knowledge resources are captured and represented within a technology-mediated environment that scaffolds students as they add new ideas, revise materials, synthesize arguments or inform their designs (Stahl, 2000; Hoadley & Pea, 2002; Bielczyc & Collins, 2005). This paper describes a new approach to design-based research that utilizes a formal model of learning, mapped onto the curriculum design, to assess when, where, why and how the enacted design is achieving or failing to achieve its aims. As with most design-oriented research methods, the proposed process, called model-based design research (MBDR), goes beyond testing whether a particular intervention works or doesn t work. Instead, it allows researchers to characterize each player within the learning environment, comparing their beliefs, actions, and artifacts with the epistemic aims and assumptions built into the model, and then iteratively refine the design such that progress can be achieved in the design. 1

7 2. Model-Based Design Research Since its inception in the early 1990s (Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992), design-based research has become a widely used and broadly accepted research paradigm in the learning sciences. This approach maintains a commitment to the creation and development of innovative learning environments by simultaneously engaging in design evaluation and theory building throughout the research process (Edelson, 2002). Design-based research typically includes three characteristics: (1) Systematic intervention into a specific learning context, accounting for factors such as the teachers, learners, curricular materials, and available technologies; (2) An interdisciplinary design team consisting of teachers, researchers, technologists, and subject-area specialists; and (3) Iterative design modification in which interim findings are used to improve the design throughout its implementation (Najafi, 2012; Edelson, 2002; Bell, Hoadley & Linn, 2004). Bereiter (2002) highlights that design research is generally not defined by its methods but instead by the goals of those who pursue it. Those engaging in design research are generally committed to specific outcomes, including the development of innovative learning environments or curricula, the characterization of the specific contexts in which the learning designs are employed, as well as general knowledge about the fundamentals of teaching and learning (Sandoval, in press). However, despite its commitment to these research goals, design-based research has been criticized for lacking methodological rigor due to the absence of clearly defined methods and standards (Sandoval, in press; Dede, 2004; Kelly, 2004; Shavelson et al., 2003). Whereas the bulk of scholarly literature on design research within the past decade has focused on the what rather than the how, Sandoval has attempted to address these criticisms by formulating a methodological approach which he calls conjecture mapping (Sandoval, 2004; in press). The purpose of conjecture mapping is to explicitly identify and make salient the specific relationships between a learning design and the theoretical conjectures that informed the design (Sandoval, 2004). Sandoval (in press) identifies three types of conjectures: 1. High level conjectures the broad, theoretical, abstract big ideas or learning principles that are typically used to motivate or initiate the design process 2. Design conjectures theoretical assertions that guide or constrain how particular design features or embodiments (e.g. tools and materials, task structures, participant structures, discursive practices) will yield particular mediating processes (e.g. observable interactions, participant artifacts) 3. Theoretical conjectures theoretical beliefs or assertions that describe how the mediating processes of a design will yield particular outcomes (e.g. learning, interest/motivation, etc.) By explicitly mapping such conjectures onto curriculum designs, researchers are productively required to articulate and justify their choice of design embodiments, mediating processes, outcomes, as well as the means and methods for tracing the linkages between them (Sandoval, in press). In ways that are similar to conjecture mapping, MBDR refers to a formal theoretical model as a source of design constraint, allowing researchers to identify and justify their choice of design elements and the linkages between them. However this approach goes one step further and adds a means of evaluating curriculum designs in relation to the model. Evaluation thus occurs on two levels: (1) How true was the design to the model; and (2) How true was the enactment to the design. 2

8 While MDBR is only applicable in cases where a formal structural model exists, and could be seen as a special case of conjecture mapping, it is nonetheless an interesting form of designoriented research, particularly in the sense that the outcomes of an MDBR study can directly inform revisions or improvements to the underlying model. In sections below, we provide a detailed case study of MBDR, including the model that underlies the design, and the two analyses that comprise the study. We conclude with a discussion of the model, including recommendations for new epistemic elements of the model. 3. Case Study: Designing EvoRoom 3.1 The Model: Knowledge Community and Inquiry (KCI) While knowledge community approaches, such as Fostering Communities of Learners (Brown, 1997) and Knowledge Building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006) have been successfully implemented at the elementary level, current school structures and content-heavy curriculum demands often make those models inaccessible to course instructors particularly at the secondary level. KCI is a pedagogical model that was developed for secondary science as a means of blending the core philosophies of the knowledge community approach with the structural and scripted affordances of scaffolded inquiry (Slotta & Peters, 2008; Slotta & Najafi, 2010). KCI includes five major design principles, each accompanied by a set of epistemological commitments, pedagogical affordances, and technology elements. Together, these guide the creation of inquiry activities, peer interactions and exchange, and cooperative knowledge construction. The five principles are summarized in Table 1 below: 3

9 Epistemological Commitments Pedagogical Affordances Technology Elements 1. Students work collectively as a knowledge community, creating a knowledge base that serves as a resource for their ongoing inquiry within a specific science domain. Students identify as a community, with the goals and purposes of learning together and advancing the The knowledge base is indexed to the targeted science domain as well as semantic and social variables; Tablets, wikis, semantic web, metadata schemes, science content standards, tagging schemes community s knowledge. The knowledge base needs to be understood and valued as their community resource. Semantic index variables can be designed, as well as user contributed or emergent 2. The knowledge base that is accessible for use as a resource as well as for editing and improvement by all members. Knowledge building processes: improvable ideas, measurable or observable progress within the knowledge base, emergent content organization (i.e. semantic structure) Scripts for jigsaw and collaborative knowledge construction; visualizations and interfaces for accessing the knowledge base; authorship attributions; versioning and forking Socially editable media, wikis, notes, or collections of observations; social tagging; visualizations; recommender agents 3. Collaborative inquiry activities are designed to address the targeted science learning goals, including assessable outcomes Inquiry learning is fundamentally constructivist, where students build on their existing ideas to develop understanding. A social dimension of shared ideas, discourse and practice also underlies the design of collaborative inquiry. Learner-centered and idea-centered activities, including critique, comparison, design and reflection. Students create artifacts, reflect on those artifacts, and apply them as resources within a larger inquiry project. Web-based learning activities, wikis, Web portal, video editing, simulations, tablet-based observation forms, laptop and tablet interfaces 4. Inquiry activities are designed to engage students with the knowledge base as a resource, and to add new ideas and elements to the knowledge base Inquiry emphasizes the growth of individual ideas through reflection and application, but also a social connection, for discourse and collaboration Need for open-ended activity designs, Specific technology tools and to connect to full index of knowledge materials are developed to support base (i.e. to assure complete inquiry activities. These adhere to a coverage), but also to respond to pedagogical script that defines the emergent ideas or themes within the sequence or progression of activities, community; possible dynamic roles, groups, etc. Students may use grouping of students based on shared a variety of technology-based ideas, disagreements or other inquiryoriented variables. designed to support the pedagogical learning environments, carefully script. 5. The teacher plays a specific role defined within the inquiry script, but also a general orchestration role, scaffolded by the technology environment The teacher s role is that of an expert collaborator or mentor, responding to student ideas as they emerge, and orchestrating the pedagogical flow of activities. The teacher must understand student learning as a collective endeavor, and must see his or her own role as that of an important community member. Table 1 KCI design principles The teacher engages in specific scripted interactions with students; providing feedback and making orchestrational decisions based on the content of student interactions and artifacts. The teacher is responsible for moving the inquiry forward through a progression of activities, but also plays specific roles within activities (talking with students, giving feedback, etc). Teachers also rely on technology to help orchestrate the flow of activities. They may refer to representations of the aggregated community knowledge to inform reflective discussions (e.g., about what the next steps should be, in inquiry). Or they may have specific technologies designed to support their interactions with students (e.g., a teacher tablet). 3.2 The Design: EvoRoom, Grade 11 Biology, Evolution and Biodiversity Curriculum Use of the word EvoRoom is twofold. In one sense it refers to an actual room that was constructed using smart classroom technologies to simulate an immersive rainforest environment. When students enter this smart classroom, their interactions where they go in the room, and with whom are carefully orchestrated, and depend on real-time ideas and observations that they 4

10 KBSI2013 enter into their tablets. Their ideas and collective efforts are made visible and accessible to everyone in the room through the use of a persistent aggregate display at the front of the room (see Figure 1). In the other sense of the word, EvoRoom refers to a much broader 10-week curriculum for Grade 11 Biology that was designed to fulfill the requirements for evolution and biodiversity. This 10-week curriculum included an online learning portfolio (for which activities were completed both at home and at school); a zoo field trip; traditional classroom lessons; as well as two unique activities completed within the EvoRoom itself. Figure 1 Evoroom: a room-sized immersive simulation where students interact with peers and with elements of the room itself (walls, table, tablets) to conduct collaborative inquiry in the domain of evolution and biodiversity). In order to ensure that the overall curriculum design, including all detailed activities, materials and interactions, was suitable for secondary biology in a high achieving school context, the teacher was a critical member of the design team. The teacher was highly involved in the development of the orchestrational scripts and technology elements that went into the design, and provided valuable feedback with regards to tool development and the overall curricular goals for the evolution and biodiversity units. The co-design team also consisted of two graduate researchers, three computer programmers, and one faculty supervisor. At the time of this writing, the EvoRoom curriculum is just completing its third design iteration. The pilot run for EvoRoom was completed in June 2011; the second iteration was completed between December 2011 and February 2012; and the third (current) iteration was completed between March and May It includes a 10-week sequence of activities, where students participate in a wide range of classroom activities (including lectures and labs), create a shared classroom knowledge base, and conduct field trip and smart room activities that make use of their knowledge base. As mentioned previously, the EvoRoom curriculum included activities across a number of different contexts, including at home, at school in the students regular classroom, at school in the smart classroom, and at the zoo, on a field trip. After conducting inquiry activities in the class, and during homework, students were engaged in a smart classroom activity (i.e., where they were engaged as a group in the EvoRoom itself). The interactions within the EvoRoom were carefully designed to explore research questions related to large, immersive environments (Lui & Slotta, 2012). The walls of the room were rendered as large animated simulations of the rainforest at 8 different historical time periods (200, 150, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 2 million years ago). The teacher coordinated students investigation of the evolution of the rainforest, as they made use of carefully designed tablet computers to add observations and reflections. A trip to the zoo is used to promote reflections about biodiversity and habitat, followed by another visit to the EvoRoom where students investigate the biodiversity of the present day rainforest, set in various human- and nature-impacted contexts (e.g., from climate change). Further details of the design are provided in the design analysis section. 5

11 The school itself was located within a large and ethnically diverse urban setting. The participants for the current iteration consisted of two sections of Grade 11 Biology (n=56). For the majority of the activities, students were divided into groups of 3-4, with different groupings for different activities. It should be noted that, although there were significant changes between each design iteration, and the KCI model served as an important referent and guide for design decisions, none of the designs were explicitly connected to the role of epistemic cognition within KCI. While such elements are clearly essential to the model, they were not at the forefront of concern for researchers, who were focused on activity sequences, as well as specific questions about the smart classroom (Lui & Slotta, 2012). The present research examines the role of epistemic cognition within the EvoRoom designs, performing an MBDR analysis that will serve to strengthen the coherence of the KCI model in terms of its epistemic commitments. 4. Data Analysis 4.1 Design Analysis The first stage of the MBDR analysis entails mapping the epistemic commitments (EC) of the KCI model onto the EvoRoom curriculum design. Figure 2 connects the five epistemic commitments of KCI to the various components of the EvoRoom curriculum design timeline. As shown, the design of EvoRoom curriculum did address the major epistemic commitments of KCI. However, it notably did not make any explicit attempts to address students epistemic cognition, such as through reflections or discussions about the purpose of learning, the goals of the curriculum, etc. Nor did the specified activities include details about the role of epistemic cognition in the inquiry learning (Chinn et al, 2011). 4.2 Enactment Analysis The second step of the MBDR analysis is to evaluate whether the EvoRoom curriculum was enacted faithfully to the design. Enactment data included the following (see Figure 3): Digital learning artifacts, including posts to the online learning portfolio, contributions to the EvoRoom database throughout the Evolution Activity, and evidence/claims collected using Zydeco (for both the Zoo Field Trip and Biodiversity Activity) (n=56); Pre/post summative rating scale instruments and that were completed before and after the entire 10-week curriculum unit (n=56), as well as before and after the Zoo field trip (n=112); Open-ended survey items completed near the beginning and end of the entire 10-week curriculum unit (n=56); Student interviews, completed after the final EvoRoom biodiversity activity (n=4) Researcher field notes for the EvoRoom Evolution Activity, Zoo Field Trip and Biodiversity Activity 6

12 EvoRoom Curriculum Design: KCI Model: Epistemic Commitments Epistemic Aims and Value Students identify as a knowledge community with the shared goal of learning together, advancing the community s knowledge, and developing shared ideas and understandings about the targeted science learning expectations Online Learning Portfolio (ongoing) Time EvoRoom Evolution Activity (Week 2) Zoo Field Trip (Week 8) EvoRoom Biodiversity Activity (Week 10) Students identify as a knowledge community with the shared goal of learning together, advancing the community s knowledge, and developing shared ideas and understandings about the targeted science learning expectations Structure of Knowledge The structure and organization of knowledge within the knowledge base are emergent, based on student-contributed content; progress is made visible Individual blog posts with peer comments; Collaborative wiki pages; scaffolded titles Co-constructed aggregate cladogram, based on realtime observations Shared, multimodal evidence base with folksonomic tagging structure Shared, multimodal evidence base with locationbased tags Sources of Knowledge, Justification and Epistemic Stance Sources: knowledge base is understood as their community resource ; teacher is regarded as an expert collaborator Justification: gap in model Epistemic Stance: gap in model Epistemic Virtues and Vices Virtues: knowledge community membership, sharing of ideas, (also implicit are shared social conventions and practices, discourse rules ) Vices: (implicit are knowledge hoarding, competitiveness, valuing individual achievement over collective advancement) Reliable Processes Knowledge-building processes; constructivist inquiry activities; discourse; practice/application; reflection Sources: authoritative sources; Justification & Epistemic Stance = gap in model Sources: primary observations, peers; Justification & Epistemic Stance = gap in model Sources: primary observations, peers; Justification & Epistemic Stance: Zydeco CER Sources: primary observations, peers; Justification & Epistemic Stance: Zydeco CER Virtues: meaningful contributions to the shared knowledge bases for each activity; justificatory rigor (i.e. no satisficing throughout knowledge negotiations); prioritizing collective advancement over individual. Vices: lack of contributions to the knowledge base; frequent satisficing of group decisions/knowledge claims, and maintaining a competitive, grades-first mentality throughout the activities Knowledge-building processes; constructivist inquiry activities; discourse; practice/application; reflection Figure 2 Detailed description of how the epistemic commitments of KCI appear within the EvoRoom curriculum design 7

13 Enactment Analysis Findings Online Learning Portfolio (ongoing) EvoRoom Evolution Activity (Week 2) Zoo Field Trip (Week 8) EvoRoom Biodiversity Activity (Week 10) Epistemic Aims & Values According to an open-ended post-survey, (n=40), the majority of students (67%) perceived the EvoRoom activities as having a greater emphasis on collective knowledge advancement rather than individual learning gains. Students identified shared goals within all four EvoRoom curriculum activities. However, students felt that shared goals were most prominent in the Zydeco Zoo activity and the Biodiversity Activity. The majority of students (83%) felt that their own contributions to the shared knowledge base were helpful to the learning of others. A pre/post likert questionnaire administered before and after the Zoo field trip revealed that students who participated in the EvoRoom curriculum showed a significant improvement in their perceived knowledge communities (t=-2.684, df=37, p-value= ) compared to students who did not participate in the EvoRoom curriculum (t=0.6114, df=26, p-value=0.5463) Structure of Knowledge: The level of completion of the Borneo Field Guide assignment (86%) was higher than the level of completion for the Borneo Timeline wiki pages (47%) and the Timeline Summary (12%). Two sessions completed the activity pencil and paper rather than the tablet app. Within the paper sessions, the higher-order reasoning question (question 3) was left blank by 70% of respondents. Students who used tablets worked collaboratively and were able to share their knowledge artifacts with each other such that none of their responses were left blank. Sources of Knowledge, Justification, and Epistemic Stance: Of the 655 pieces of data that were collected, the majority consisted of photos (79%) or the combination of photos with text (10%). The remaining 11% of data used audio (1%), video (3%), text (4%), or a mix of media types (3%). 67% of data artifacts contained at least one folksonomic tag, while 33% remained untagged. The tagging structure of data artifacts was taxonomic rather than folksonomic. Here, a much higher proportion of evidence was used to support knowledge claims throughout the biodiversity activity (42%) compared to the Zoo field trip activity (15%). A pre/post open-ended survey was administered to students before and after the EvoRoom curriculum (n=40). Presurvey results indicate a heavy reliance on authoritative sources of knowledge (89%), whereas post-survey results show a more even distribution between authority (33%), peers (28%) and the self (38%) as sources of knowledge. Justification of knowledge was weakest in the Online Learning Portfolio and in the EvoRoom Evolution Activity, where knowledge contributions were mostly factual and required little negotiation. Justification of knowledge was strongest in the Zydeco Zoo field trip activity because scaffolds to support the justification of knowledge were built into the design of the Zydeco app. Although the Biodiversity activity also used Zydeco, there was evidence of students satisficing their epistemic stance in favour of consensus/agreement within the group (e.g. using approaches such as a group vote rather than argumentation/justification of knowledge claims) Epistemic Virtues and Vices: Most students participated fully in all activities and contributed their findings to the shared knowledge base There was some evidence of satisficing throughout the Biodiversity Activity, therefore evaluating this epistemic vice requires further evaluation in subsequent designs once the Justification and Epistemic Stance dimensions have been refined Students recognized the EvoRoom Curriculum as focusing on collective advancement rather than individual gains Reliable Processes: The achievement of the epistemic aims can be used as an indicator that the underlying learning processes were, in fact, reliable. Students were also given an open-ended post-survey in which they were asked how much of the EvoRoom curriculum they were likely to remember next year in comparison to the other units of the course. The majority of students (62%) indicated they would remember more, citing reasons such as active learning, application and understanding (rather than memorization). 17% indicated they would remember less, primarily due to interest in other topics, or preference to learn/study independently rather than with classmates. Figure 3 The EvoRoom enactment analysis revealed how the designed EC were manifested in the enacted curriculum 8

14 5. Discussion The enacted EvoRoom design provides feedback that may be used to help strengthen the epistemic elements of future design iterations. It also provides insights as to how the epistemic commitments of the KCI model can be improved. One area of feedback into the design is concerned with the semantic organization of the knowledge base. Throughout the EvoRoom curriculum, the ability to search for and retrieve specific artifacts from the knowledge base was limited by the quality of student tagging. Within the smart classroom activities, this issue was less pronounced because there were only students contributing to the knowledge base at a time. Here, the teacher was able to circulate the room and remind students to tag data, and the persistent aggregate display in the provided additional visual evidence showing if/when tags were appropriately applied. However, during the Zoo field trip, there was a much larger cohort of students who were simultaneously contributing to the knowledge base (n=112). Due to time constraints, many students chose to collect various multimodal artifacts as evidence and then tag them later (if at all), or otherwise poorly tagged them in haste. This meant that a large quantity of evidence remained unsearchable and unused. One area of theoretical insight that would feed into the KCI model would be considerations of justification and epistemic stance (Chinn et al, 2011) for collaborative inquiry. Throughout group knowledge negotiations, there was evidence that students were satisficing their true epistemic stance in favour of achieving group consensus, thus compromising the justificatory rigor of the inquiry. It is therefore recommended that the KCI model includes parameters to explicitly support the justification of knowledge throughout collaborative inquiry activities. 6. Conclusion MBDR can be used as an evaluative tool to identify when, where, why and how a particular design is achieving or failing to achieve its curricular aims. This paper examines how the epistemic commitments of the KCI model were mapped onto the design of the EvoRoom curriculum, and subsequently how those commitments played out in the enactment of the curriculum. While the EvoRoom curriculum wasn t designed with epistemic cognition explicitly in mind, it provides an interesting opportunity to take an epistemological pass at the design, in order to inform future design iterations. MBDR could be used to evaluate other aspects of the design as well, including technological elements or pedagogical affordances. Similarly, different curricula could be designed, enacted and evaluated using the same model as its basis. The enacted designs are valuable for both informing future design iterations, as well as generating theoretical insights that could contribute to the refinement of the model itself. References: Bell, P., Hoadley, C. M., & Linn, M. C. (2004). Design-based research. In M. C. Linn, E. A. Davis, & P. Bell (Eds.), Internet environments for science education (pp ). Mahwah, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bereiter, C. (2002). Design research for sustained innovation. Japanese Cognitive Science Society, 9(3), Bielaczyc, K. and Collins, A. (2005). Technology as a catalyst for fostering knowledge-creating communities. In O Donnell, A. M., Hmelo-Silver, C. E., and van der Linden, J. (eds.) Collaborative Learning, Reasoning, and Technology, pp Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(2),

15 Brown, A. L. (1997). Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters. American Psychologist, 52(4), Brown, A. L. and Campione, J. C. (1994). Guided discovery in a community of learners. In McGilly, K. (ed.) Classroom Lessons: Integrating Cognitive Theory and Classroom Practice, pp Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books. Chinn, C. A., Buckland, L. A., & Samarapungavan, A. (2011). Expanding the dimensions of epistemic cognition: arguments from philosophy and psychology. Educational Psychologist, 46, Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. O'Shea (Eds.), New directions in educational technology (pp ): Springer-Verlag. Dede, C. (2004). If design-based research is the answer, what is the question? Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), Edelson, D. C. (2002). Design research: what we learn when we engage in design. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11(1), Kelly, A. E. (2004). Design research in education: Yes, but is it methodological? Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), Lui, M., and Slotta, J.D. (2012, July). Designing immersive environments for collective inquiry. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference of the Learning Sciences Volume 2 (pp ). July 2-6. Sydney, Australia: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. Najafi, H. (2012). Transforming learning in science classrooms: A blended knowledge community approach. Doctoral dissertation. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto. Sandoval, W. A. (2004). Developing learning theory by refining conjectures embodied in educational designs. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), Sandoval, W. A. (in press). Conjecture mapping: an approach to systematic educational design research. Journal of the Learning Sciences. Scardamalia, M. and Bereiter, C. (1999). Schools as knowledge building organizations. In Keating, D. and Hertzman, C. (eds.) Today s Children, Tomorrow s Society: The Developmental Health and Wealth of Nations, pp New York: Guilford. Scardamalia, M., and Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology. The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences, Retrieved from Shavelson, R. J., Phillips, D. C., Towne, L., & Feuer, M. J. (2003). On the science of educational design studies. Educational Researcher, 32(1), Slotta, J. D., & Najafi, H. (2010). Knowledge communities in the classroom. International encyclopedia of education, 8, Slotta, J. D., & Peters, V. L. (2008). A blended model for knowledge communities: Embedding scaffolded inquiry. International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences Utrecht. pp International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). 10

16 Metadiscourse in Knowledge Building: A Question about Written or Verbal Metadiscourse Rolf Kristian Baltzersen, Østfold University College, Norway ABSTRACT: In Knowledge Building (KB) research, the metadiscourse concept has been taken in use more in recent years. Still, the definitions seem to be quite simple and vague. In this paper, I therefore review how the metadiscourse concept is used in some selected research papers. By comparing these papers, I discuss the degree of similarities and differences in the use of the concept within the field. In addition, I propose a typology that includes both written and verbal metadiscourse and which may be relevant when analyzing knowledge building discourse. 1. Background Research question In recent years, more knowledge building (KB) researchers have started to use the metadiscourse concept (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006; van Aalst, 2009). Still, the definitions seem to be simple and vague. In this paper, I therefore ask: How is the metadiscourse concept used within knowledge building research? I will review how the metadiscourse concept is used by analyzing some selected research papers. A comprehensive definition of metacommunication developed by Baltzersen (2013) will be used as an analytical framework. This metacommunication concept is similar to the metadiscourse concept, although it has some analytic limitations because it only focuses on talk about talk. Still, the definition of metacommunication is considered as relevant enough and is introduced in some detail in Part 1. In Part 2, I review how the metadiscourse concept is used within knowledge building research. Furthermore, in Part 3, I summarize my findings by comparing the use of the metadiscourse concept in the different research papers. I also present a typology that includes both written and verbal metadiscourse. The metacommunication concept People often comment on conversations with phrases such as What do you mean by saying that? or This is an interesting conversation. This kind of communication is used for several different purposes. Bateson (1972) labeled this kind of communication as metacommunication and claimed it was essential for successful human communication. It was considered very important in order to clarify messages and regulate the communication. Until now there have been few attempts to try and develop a more coherent definition of the concept. One exception is Baltzersen (2013) who reviews the use of the concept and also presents a comprehensive typology. He suggests that verbal metacommunication can be divided into three basic dimensions: what, how and when do you metacommunicate? The "What-dimension" suggests that you will always have to refer to some part of the communication when you metacommunicate. This can be done by metacommunicating about the conversational content, the conversational relationship or the use of conversational time. It s possible to metacommunicate about the conversational content in several different ways. One example is when a person explicitly suggests a change of conversational topic. Another example is if one tries to explain the intentions behind the conversational content. A third example is discussions about forthcoming conversational content, which is often considered important in 11

17 professional conversations. Fourthly, summarizing can be regarded as metacommunication about the conversational content. The second aspect of the What-dimension is to metacommunicate about the conversational relationship. This can also be done in many different ways, but is usually related to some kind of evaluation of the relationship between the persons interacting. In this regard, it s possible to highlight one s own role or another person s role in the relationship. A third option is to metacommunicate about the use of conversational time. For example, persons talking to each other can discuss meeting frequency (Baltzersen, 2013). The "How-dimension" suggests that metacommunication itself indicates how people relate to each other. For example, how we use our voice when we are metacommunicating will also influence the interpretation of the metacommunicative utterance. In addition, Baltzersen (2013) distinguishes between monological metacommunication, which refers to a situation where only one person is metacommunicating, while dialogical metacommunication indicates that all persons are metacommunicating. The "When-dimension" suggests that a metacommunicative utterance will always take place at a specific point in the conversation. Firstly, it s possible to metacommunicate about the ongoing "here-and-now" conversation. This can be done by explaining intentions or by posing questions of clarification. By making such comments, people try to encourage openness in the conversation. Metacommunication within an extended time frame will be about either a past or future conversation which goes beyond the immediate communicative situation. This kind of metacommunication may be important in professional collaboration, where people establish a working alliance (Baltzersen, 2013). 2. The metadiscourse concept in knowledge building research Frequency of use In knowledge building (KB) research, the metadiscourse concept was originally introduced by Scardamalia and Bereiter in a 2006 paper. In recent years, the use of the concept seems to have increased. One reason appears to be the development of new "metadiscourse tools" in Knowledge Forum, the online discussion environment often used by the knowledge building community. With this background, I wish to explore whether a more comprehensive metacommunication concept can increase our understanding of the use of the metadiscourse concept in knowledge building. In an attempt to answer this question, I have reviewed the use of the metadiscourse concept in KB research. A search in Google Scholar with the combination of the two terms knowledge building and metadiscourse resulted in 142 hits for the period from (date 8 th November 2012). The four research papers that were top ranked were selected for further analysis. They were the only papers that mentioned the metadiscourse concept more than one time (See table 1 below). The following papers were selected: Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology by Scardamalia and Bereiter (2006), Sustaining knowledge building as a principle-based innovation at an elementary school by Zhang, Hong, Scardamalia, Teo and Morley (2011), Collaborative productivity as self-sustaining processes in a grade 4 knowledge building community by Zhang and Messina (2010) and Distinguishing knowledge-sharing, knowledgeconstruction, and knowledge-creation discourses by van Aalst (2009). Three of these papers have been peer-reviewed in academic journals, while the paper by Zhang and Messina (2010) is a peerreviewed conference paper. All authors are well known knowledge building researchers. 12

18 I also discovered that two similar terms are in use in KB research: both metadiscourse and meta-discourse with a hyphen. A new search was done with the term meta-discourse in combination with the term knowledge building to check if the search results were any different. This search gave a total of 41 hits for the period from (date 8 th November 2012), indicating that this term is less used. The top ranked paper is Designs for collective cognitive responsibility in knowledge-building communities by Zhang, Scardamalia, Reeve, & Messina (2009). This paper was also selected for further analysis. The research paper Knowledge Society Network: Toward a Dynamic, Sustained Network for Building Knowledge by Hong, Scardamalia and Zhang (2010) was ranked number two, but was not selected because the metadiscourse concept was only mentioned once. The paper by van Aalst (2009) was ranked number 3, but had already been included after the first search. In total, five papers were selected. Table 1. Overview of selected research papers according to the frequency of the use of the metadiscourse concept. Selected research paper Distinguishing knowledge-sharing, knowledge-construction, and knowledge-creation discourses (van Aalst 2009). Collaborative productivity as self-sustaining processes in a grade 4 knowledge building community (Zhang and Messina 2010). Sustaining knowledge building as a principle-based innovation at an elementary school (Zhang et al. 2011). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology (Scardamalia and Bereiter 2006). Designs for collective cognitive responsibility in knowledge-building communities (Zhang et al. 2009). Number of times the metadiscourse concept is used in the paper In general we can see that the frequency of use of the metadiscourse concept is low. The exception is the paper by van Aalst (2009). The concept is used 13 times. In the other papers the content descriptions are limited because the concept is only used 2-5 times. Since Zhang is the main author of three of these research papers, I have chosen to present his uses of the concept together. Searches done with other related concepts such as "metatalk" gave very few relevant results. In this paper I will therefore use the term metadiscourse consistently, because this is the term that is most frequently used within KB research. Research paper by Scardamalia and Bereiter According to Scardamalia and Bereiter (2006), the founders of knowledge building, metadiscourse is an important feature that distinguishes knowledge building discourse from other types of discourse. It is part of the knowledge building discourse, but different because it is related to some kind of evaluation of this discourse. In their paper they also emphasize that specific tools developed in Knowledge Forum can encourage metadiscourse in a school 13

19 classroom. With the use of epistemological markers or scaffolds (such as My theory, I need to understand, New information, and so on), students can describe their own thinking types together with the notes. These scaffolds can be used to stimulate a discussion about what kind of contribution students have made. By linking these contributions together, they can create an emergent hypertext that is collective. As we see, the description of the metadiscourse concept is quite short, but still seems to suggest two main perspectives. Firstly, metadiscourse is described as a specific type of discourse with its own unique qualities. In this paper I will aim to describe this with more precision and I will also give concrete examples from other research papers. Secondly, the different scaffolds developed in Knowledge Forum are seen as important facilitators of metadiscourse and collective knowledge advancement. Still, this perspective cannot be said to be part of the concept on the same level as the first criterion, since it focuses on the technology itself. Research papers by Zhang with others Metadiscourse in the classroom All three research papers by Zhang with others describe, in some detail, the role of metadiscourse in the lesson. In one of the research papers, Zhang et al. (2009) emphasize that metadiscourse is important when students are working collectively in Knowledge Forum. At some point the teacher needs to engage the students in a discussion about their own work. It is often necessary to redefine and narrow down the knowledge problems. Usually this is done by projecting the work in Knowledge Forum onto a screen which is visible for everyone in the class. In this context, the teacher encourages the class to identify significant knowledge advances. This is a kind of metadiscourse that helps students to become aware of their progress and identify learning needs that were not otherwise recognized. The class must discuss both what they have achieved and what needs to be done. Zhang and Messina (2010) present a similar perspective on metadiscourse. The purpose is to let students review conceptual connections and try to identify important emergent questions that can lead to the formulation of deeper interconnected goals. The authors highlight one example where students identify questions such as: "Does light reflect off black opaque objects?" or "How does a mirror reflect light of all colors?" These questions again triggered further idea development. Here metadiscourse is defined as an integrated part of classroom conversations. In another research paper, Zhang et al. (2011) explain that the goal of KB Talks i is to advance students understanding and engage them in metadiscourse to reflect on progress (e.g., Is the discourse getting anywhere?), as well as formulate emerging problems and develop action plans to address problems. Metadiscourse is described as a discourse where students are encouraged to take a more comprehensive look at what they are doing. This is done by shifting focus from content-specific discussions to asking questions such as Are we getting anywhere? or Is there an important idea we re missing? In this way, metadiscourse supports goal setting, planning, and review of current procedures and processes. In general, the three papers by Zhang indicate a quite consistent use of the metadiscourse concept. The emphasis is on evaluating the collective knowledge advancement. The purpose is to select the ideas one should continue to work with. In Zhang et al. (2009), the metadiscourse concept is related to both prior and forthcoming collective knowledge advancement. In Zhang et al. (2011), several of the examples related to metadiscourse are formulated as specific questions. For example, the question Is the discourse getting anywhere? invites students to a critical discussion about the collaboration. Zhang and Messina (2010) also exemplify metadiscourse with questions, but these seem to be related to the ordinary academic discourse. For instance, the 14

20 question "How does a mirror reflect light of all colors?" seems, in itself, not to be an example of metadiscourse. Teacher role Interestingly, two of the research papers by Zhang with others also describe the role of the teacher in relation to metadiscourse. Zhang et al. (2009) emphasize that the teacher should facilitate metadiscourse. This is necessary because the teacher needs to understand how the ideas in the groups are emerging. By asking stimulating questions, the teacher can bring important new ideas into student focus. In addition, the metadiscourse concept includes a discussion between teachers in the school about teaching, without the students being present. Zhang and Messina (2010) also give an example of how a knowledge building teacher attempts to engage students in metadiscourse by reviewing ideas, monitoring conflicts and reflecting on progress. The teacher often tries to stimulate deeper analysis by connecting his or her own proposals with students ideas and questions. This is done by summarizing what students have said earlier or by identifying contrasting perspectives between the students. Metadiscourse also takes place when the teacher formulates and highlights knowledge goals. This can happen when the teacher creates new view structures in Knowledge Forum in line with such goals. In both these papers, the teacher s ability to metacommunicate seems to be closely related to his role as a conversational regulator in the class. Research paper by van Aalst Van Aalst (2009) seems to be the only knowledge building researcher who describes the metadiscourse concept in more detail. He defines metadiscourse as a level of discourse that is different from maintaining social relations or building understanding. The concept is related to the existence of long-range goals in a knowledge-creation community. In this regard, he mentions four examples: 1. reviews of the state of knowledge in the community, 2. work aimed at helping new insights diffuse throughout the community, 3. making arguments for a new phase of inquiry and 4. establishing more difficult goals over time. We see that the third and fourth examples focus on future collaboration by emphasizing a new phase of inquiry and the establishment of more difficult goals. Oppositely, example one focuses on metadiscourse as an attempt to summarize past work, while example two has a less clear time focus. According to van Aalst (2009), students may discuss how to improve previous efforts or evaluate the evolution of ideas over a substantial period, such as an entire school year. Later in the paper, this meta-discourse concept is presented as one of five key conditions in an innovation ecology that can stimulate knowledge creation (or knowledge building). 1 These five conditions are: 1. the nature of the task, 2. the sense of community, 3. idea-centered discourse, 4. the use of technology and 5. meta-discourse. Furthermore, metadiscourse is used as an empirical indicator when van Aalst (2009) analyzes group discourse. Metadiscourse is defined as one of the seven main codes: Community, Ideas, Questions, Information, Links, Agency, and Meta-Discourse. The metadiscourse concept is further divided into three subcodes: Major review, Deepening inquiry and Lending support. Van Aalst (2009) assumes that the first sub-code, major review, is a more important sub-code in knowledge creation than in knowledge sharing, because it s a more complex and timeconsuming process. This review process is considered important in discussions about the reorganization of the collective inquiry. 1 Knowledge creation and knowledge building are often used in a similar way, but van Aalst (2009) prefers to use the term knowledge creation in his paper. 15

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