The organizing committee of this workshop has been working collaboratively – with the involvement of approximately ten additional international researchers – over the 2021 academic year to advance the notion of “knowledge building infrastructures.” Our efforts so far have led to a collection of research papers that were presented at the Knowledge Building Institute on November 9-10, 2021. By organizing this ISLS pre-conference workshop, we seek to expand this effort to a broader audience of CSCL and Learning Sciences researchers.
Dr. Yotam Hod, Associate Professor at the University of Haifa
Dr. Bodong Chen, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Etan Cohen, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Haifa and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Shiri Kashi, Ph.D. student at the University of Haifa
Dr. Guangji Yuan, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Education in the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Dr. Alwyn Lee, Research Fellow at the National Institute of Education in the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
With an eye on contributing new ideas that can advance our understanding of what and how infrastructure principles enable knowledge building, this workshop will explore and synthesize ongoing research that includes a variety of examples that deal with and conceptualize knowledge building infrastructures. For example, recently researchers have examined how students’ mindsets may play an important role in their successful participation in the knowledge building process (Kici & Scardamalia, 2018), and how the collaborative spaces and boundary objects enable knowledge creations across communities and function as the knowledge infrastructure for inquiry and learning within a trustworthy background database (Yuan & Zhang, 2020; Zhang, Yuan & Bogouslavsky, 2020), while others have examined emotional issues (Hod & Katz, 2020; Zheng, Zhong, & Niu, 2021). Some authors have directly suggested that a social infrastructure is needed (Bielaczyc, 2006) beyond the many ongoing efforts at developing technological and analytical infrastructures (Chen, Chang & Groos, 2020; Oshima, Oshima & Matsuzawa, 2012; Zhang et al., 2018). Although knowledge building principles may articulate knowledge building processes, there are gaps in attending to students’ emotional, social, and personal lives that are relevant to any KB implementation, as well as how to connect the cutting-edge work of one community to the efforts of other communities in meta-spaces. One of the current challenges for the knowledge building community is to better understand what principles underlie infrastructures and how they facilitate knowledge building (Cohen & Hod, 2021). Answering these questions is the main goal of this workshop.
To best reach these goals, the workshop will be organized into four sections, with both pre- and post-activities. Before the conference workshop, all participants will be asked to introduce themselves on a collaborative online platform (Knowledge Forum) and write abstracts describing their research. Then, groups of four participants will be asked to meet to discuss the research abstracts of the other participants and identify questions and promising ideas which we will deepen during the workshop. The workshop time will be divided into four sections:
Section 1 - Who are we? The group will engage in ice-breaking and experience sharing activities to (a) explore everyone’s interest and background on the topic; (b) build group cohesion; (c) make sure that new members are given a legitimate place; and (d) establish norms as our own community forms.
Section 2 - What are we building upon? After a short introductory presentation by the workshop co-organizers as well as two 15-minute invited presentations, the whole group will engage in a structured poster session (or alike) focusing upon the different KB infrastructure research that the participants have brought in. At first, each of the candidates will give three-minute “lightning talks” about their poster. Then, several rounds of interactive discussions will occur around online posters so that everyone participating in the workshop will have a chance to engage with all of them. The purposes of these activities are to (a) give all the participants a chance to deepen their knowledge about each poster and discuss issues with the authors; and (b) give the contributors feedback.
Section 3 - What new ideas or insights can advance our current state-of-knowledge? The group will engage in structured small group discussions around the questions and promising ideas that resulted from the meetings in preparation for the workshop, the invited presentations, and the online poster session. An interactive group format will be designed to facilitate cross-group knowledge sharing, so that participants with distributed expertise will have opportunities to interact with various workshop participants. The purpose of these activities is to advance central ideas and challenges related to the knowledge that already exists in the community.
Section 4 - What have we learned and where do we go from here? The group will engage in closing activities to reflect on what we learned, both individually and collectively, and to plan future activities.
See the post below.