- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- 16th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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null (Ed.)Today’s classrooms are remarkably different from those of yesteryear. In place of individual students responding to the teacher from neat rows of desks, one more typically finds students working in groups on projects, with a teacher circulating among groups. AI applications in learning have been slow to catch up, with most available technologies focusing on personalizing or adapting instruction to learners as isolated individuals. Meanwhile, an established science of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning has come to prominence, with clear implications for how collaborative learning could best be supported. In this contribution, I will consider how intelligence augmentation could evolve to support collaborative learning as well as three signature challenges of this work that could drive AI forward. In conceptualizing collaborative learning, Kirschner and Erkens (2013) provide a useful 3x3 framework in which there are three aspects of learning (cognitive, social and motivational), three levels (community, group/team, and individual) and three kinds of pedagogical supports (discourse-oriented, representation-oriented, and process-oriented). As they engage in this multiply complex space, teachers and learners are both learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn. Further, questions of equity arise as we consider who is able to participate and in which ways. Overall, this analysis helps us see the complexity of today’s classrooms and within this complexity, the opportunities for augmentation or “assistance to become important and even essential. An overarching design concept has emerged in the past 5 years in response to this complexity, the idea of intelligent augmentation for “orchestrating” classrooms (Dillenbourg, et al, 2013). As a metaphor, orchestration can suggest the need for a coordinated performance among many agents who are each playing different roles or voicing different ideas. Practically speaking, orchestration suggests that “intelligence augmentation” could help many smaller things go well, and in doing so, could enable the overall intention of the learning experience to succeed. Those smaller things could include helping the teacher stay aware of students or groups who need attention, supporting formation of groups or transitions from one activity to the next, facilitating productive social interactions in groups, suggesting learning resources that would support teamwork, and more. A recent panel of AI experts identified orchestration as an overarching concept that is an important focus for near-term research and development for intelligence augmentation (Roschelle, Lester & Fusco, 2020). Tackling this challenging area of collaborative learning could also be beneficial for advancing AI technologies overall. Building AI agents that better understand the social context of human activities has broad importance, as does designing AI agents that can appropriately interact within teamwork. Collaborative learning has trajectory over time, and designing AI systems that support teams not just with a short term recommendation or suggestion but in long-term developmental processes is important. Further, classrooms that are engaged in collaborative learning could become very interesting hybrid environments, with multiple human and AI agents present at once and addressing dual outcome goals of learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn; addressing a hybrid environment like this could lead to developing AI systems that more robustly help many types of realistic human activity. In conclusion, the opportunity to make a societal impact by attending to collaborative learning, the availability of growing science of computer-supported collaborative learning and the need to push new boundaries in AI together suggest collaborative learning as a challenge worth tackling in coming years.more » « less
This paper presents an implementation of Connected Spaces (CxS)—an ambient help seeking interface designed and developed for a project‐based computing classroom. We use actor network theory (ANT) to provide an underutilized posthumanist lens to understand the creation of collaborative connections in this Computational Action‐based implementation. Posthumanism offers an emerging and critical extension to sociocultural perspectives on understanding learning, by pushing us to decenter the human, and consider the active roles that human and non‐human entities play in learning environments by actively shaping each other. We analyse how students in this class adjusted their help‐seeking and collaborative habits following the introduction of CxS, a tool designed to foster (more inter‐group) collaboration. ANT proposes generalized symmetry—a principle of considering human, non‐human and more than human entities with equivalent and comparable agency, leading to describing phenomena as networks of actors in different evolving relationships with each other. Analysing collaborative interactions as fostered by CxS using an ANT approach supports design‐based research—an iterative design revision process highlighting understandings about design as well as learning—by providing a temporal and informative lens into the relationship between actors and tools within the environment. Our key findings include a framing of technologies in classrooms as bridging
agentic gapsbetween students and becoming actors engaging in different behaviours; learners enacting new agencies through technologies (for instance a more comfortable non‐intrusive help seeker), and the need for voicing and teachers to connect help networks in CxS equipped classrooms. Practitioner notes
What is already known about this topic
Collaborative learning is a valuable skill and practice; opportunities to mentor others are critical in empowering minoritized learners, especially in STEM and computing disciplines.
School norms solidify a power and expertise hierarchy between teachers and learners and fail to productively support learners in learning from each other.
Additionally, lack of awareness about peers' knowledge is a common hindrance in students knowing who to ask for help and how.
What this paper adds
An example of a designed interface called Connected Spaces with potential to foster more inter‐student collaboration, especially outside of mandated within‐group collaboration—in the form of cross‐group help seeking and help giving.
A design based research study using actor network theory highlighting the limitations of Connected Spaces in sparking notable behaviour change among students by itself but being retooled as a teacher support tool in enabling cross‐group collaborations.
Presenting conceptions of collaboration through technologies as bridging agentic gaps and acting with new agencies in performing help‐seeking related actions.
Provoking the idea of testing emerging technologies in classrooms along with sharing our analyses and reflections with the classroom as a key idea in computing education—surfacing the gap between designed intentions and the different kinds of extra social work needed in the on‐ground success of different technologies.
Implications for practice and/or policy
Designers and researchers should create and test more interfaces alongside teachers across different classrooms and contexts aimed at supporting different kinds of voluntary collaborative interactions.
Curricula, standards and school practices should further center providing students with opportunities to engage as mentors and build communities of learning across disciplines to empower minoritized students.
Researchers engaging in design based research should consider using more posthumanist lenses to examine educational technologies and how they affect change in learning environments.
Integration of engineering into middle school science and mathematics classrooms is a key aspect of STEM integration. However, successful pedagogies for teachers to use engineering talk in their classrooms are not fully understood.
This study aims to address this need with the research question: How does a middle school life science teacher use engineering talk during an engineering design‐based STEM integration unit?
This case study examined the talk of a teacher whose students demonstrated high levels of learning in science and engineering throughout a three‐year professional development program. Transcripts of whole‐class verbal interactions for 18 class periods in the life science‐based STEM integration unit were analyzed using a theoretical framework based on the Framework for Quality K‐12 Engineering Education.
The teacher used talk to integrate engineering in a variety of ways, skillfully weaving engineering throughout the unit. He framed lessons around problem scoping, incorporated engineering ideas into scientific verbal interactions, and aligned individual lessons and the overall unit with the engineering design process. He stayed true to the context of the engineering challenge and treated the students as young engineers.
This teacher's talk helped to integrate engineering with the science and mathematics content of the unit and modeled the practices of informed designers to help students learn engineering in the context of their science classroom. These findings have the potential to improve how educators and curricula developers utilize engineering teacher talk to support STEM integration.
While engineering grows as a part of elementary education, important questions arise about the skills and practices we ask of students. Both collaboration and decision making are complex and critical to the engineering design process, but come with social and emotional work that can be difficult for elementary students to navigate. Productive engagement in collaborative teams has been seen to be highly variable; for some teams, interpersonal conflicts move the design process forward, while for others they stall the process. In this work in progress, we are investigating the research question, what is the nature of students’ disciplinary talk during scaffolded decision making? We explore this research question via a case study of one student group in a 4th-grade classroom enrolled in an outreach program run by a private university in a Northeastern city. This program sends pairs of university students into local elementary schools to facilitate engineering in the classroom for one hour per week. This is the only engineering instruction the elementary students receive and the engineering curriculum is planned by the university students. For the implementation examined in this study, the curriculum was designed by two researchers to scaffold collaborative groupwork and decision making. The instruction was provided by an undergraduate and one of the researchers, a graduate student. The scaffolds designed for this semester of outreach include a set of groupwork norms and a decision matrix. The groupwork norms were introduced on the first day of instruction; the instructors read them aloud, proposed groupwork scenarios to facilitate a whole class discussion about whether or not the norms were followed and how the students could act to follow the norms, and provided time for students to practice the norms in their engineering design groups for the first project. For the rest of the semester, an anchor chart of the norms was displayed in the classroom and referenced to encourage consensus. The researchers designed the decision matrix scaffold to encourage design decisions between multiple prototypes based on problem criteria and test results. Instructors modeled the use of this decision matrix on the third day of instruction, and students utilized the matrix in both design projects of the semester. Data sources for this descriptive study include students’ written artifacts, photos of their design constructions, and video records of whole-class and team discourse. We employ qualitative case study and microethnographic analysis techniques to explore the influence of the intentional discourse scaffolds on students’ collaborative and decision-making practices. Our analysis allowed us to characterize the linguistic resources (including the decision matrix) that the students used to complete four social acts during decision making: design evaluation, disagreeing with a teammate, arguing for a novel idea, and sympathizing with a design. This research has implications for the design of instructional scaffolds for engineering curricula at the elementary school level, whether taking place in an outreach program or in regular classroom instruction.more » « less
Blikstein, P. ; Brennan, K ; Kiziko, R. ; van Aalst, J. (Ed.)Though the medium of computational modeling presents unique opportunities and challenges for science learning, little research examines how teachers can effectively support students in this work. To address this gap, we investigate how an experienced 6th grade teacher guides her students through programming computational, agent-based models of diffusion. Using interaction analysis of whole-class videos, we define a construct we call ontological alignment in which the teacher facilitates discourse to surface, highlight, connect and seek supporting or contradictory evidence for student ideas in ways that align with the level of analysis available in the modeling tool. We identify two practices reflecting this construct; the teacher 1. primes students to orient to interactions between particles and 2. strategically selects evidence to help discern between student theories. We discuss the pedagogical value of ontological alignment and suggest the identified practices as exemplary for supporting students’ learning through computational modeling.more » « less