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References

Citekey: @hmelo-silver2003

Notes

Highlights

References

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2003). Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction. Computers & Education, 41(4), 397–420. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2003.07.001

Summary

I got interested in this paper because of the CORDTRA diagram mentioned at an AERA session. The main message from this article is discourse data need to be analyzed with multiple methods in order to get a clear understanding about what’s going on with collaborative learning or knowledge construction. In two studies, Cindy mainly explores three types of techniques: quantitative interpretation of fine-grained qualitative coding (Chi, 1997), qualitative interpretation of coarser level of data, and CORDTRA diagram that makes salient the relation of different discourse activities.

The paper makes me rethink our analysis on WoC data –re-analyzing data from multiple angle will bring about a great paper from that project. Secondly, I am thinking about a research tool that allows researchers to toggle among different modes of interpreting results as long as all data are properly coded, etc. This presents to be an interesting design challenge with great value to the research community.

Raw notes

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// // Summary of Comments on Hmelo-Silver 2003 Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction -annotated ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

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Page: 2 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:35:42 PM Sociocultural theories of learning place a great emphasis on analyzing discourse in order to understand learning as well as stressing the importance of tools in mediating knowledge con- struction (Cole, 1996; Engestro¨m, 1999; Palincsar, 1998; Pea, 1993).

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Page: 3 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:29 PM Borrowing from the verbal data analysis tradition of Chi (1997), I extend this methodology to analyzing group interactions to quantify qualitative information. In addition, the quantified information and qualitative data can be used in complementary ways to understand mediated collaborative learning. The goals of the analyses reported in this paper are to be able to reliably understand the content and cognitive processes that occur as students are trying to learn and the role that tools might play in mediating learning.

Page: 3 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:36 PM Luckin and colleagues took a different approach to examining how alternative ways of struc- turing hypermedia affected how students engaged in collaborative knowledge construction (Luckin et al., 2001). They coded all talk into task-oriented, non-task, and content categories with high reliability. Rather than looking at the summary frequencies of these categories, they plotted the occurrence of these kinds of talk and the software features in a chronologically ordered representation of discourse and features used (CORDFU) diagram.

Page: 3 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:21 PM These sort of everyday learning practices have been studied using a variety of techniques including discourse and conversation analysis, ethnography, and other qualitative methods (e.g., Cazden, 1986; Cobb & Yackel, 1996; Koschmann, Glenn, & Conlee, 2000).

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Page: 4 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:47 PM This analysis used both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the role of prior knowledge on the construction of a JPS.

Page: 4 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:59 PM This study uses both fine- grained coding and coarser qualitative analysis to capture both the general cognitive and social characteristics of JPS construction, as well as illustrative examples that demonstrate phenomena that go beyond the single turn. Together, they paint a rich picture of JPS construction.

Page: 4 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:05 PM The categorical variables were coded on a turn-by-turn basis in the following categories: knowledge, metacognition, interpretation, and collaboration.

Page: 4 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:54 PM These two groups were studied in detail to examine how differences in knowledge affected collaborative knowledge construction.

Page: 4 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:36:41 PM 1. Study 1: the Oncology Thinking Cap: simulations as a collaborative context

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Page: 8 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:21 PM The LK group ran more trials (14) and took more conversational turns (2973) to converge on a satisfactory trial design than the HK group (six trials and 1773 turns). The fine-grained coding illuminates what the students talked about in their conversational turns.

Page: 8 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:31 PM the HK group demonstrated a higher percentage of metacognitive state- ments than the LK group.

Page: 8 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:26 PM Not surprisingly, the HK group referred to conceptual knowledge more than the LK group

Page: 8 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:13 PM 1.1. Quantitative results

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Page: 10 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:45 PM The category frequencies are extremely informative regarding some aspects of the knowledge construction process, but do not fully address how students constructed a JPS.

Page: 10 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:51 PM Initially, the students needed to construct a joint understanding of the task, software, and relevant variables in the clinical trial design process. The HK group was able to do this more quickly than the LK group, getting the big picture of the clinical trial design process after the second trial.

Page: 10 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:37:40 PM 1.2. Qualitative results: construction of the joint problem space

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Page: 12 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:07 PM 2. Study 2: studying tool-mediated collaboration in a problem-based learning group

Page: 12 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:18 PM The entire transcript was coded for the types of questions and statements in the discourse.

Page: 12 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:12 PM One goal of this study was to examine how the students collaboratively constructed knowledge. A second goal was to examine how use of a representational tool helped mediate learning. Thus, this study focused on how content, process, and tools interact during social knowledge construction. Three different analyses were conducted to address these goals. As in Study 1, verbal data analysis (Chi, 1997) was used to conduct a fine- grained analysis of the discourse and additional qualitative analysis was used to capture colla- borative explanations. In addition, the CORDFU technique developed by Luckin and colleagues (2001) was adapted to address the second goal.

Page: 12 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:01 PM Although this is a brief snapshot of the analytic technique, it demonstrates how the fine-grained coding and coarser analyses complement each other and provide a more complete picture of collaborative knowledge construction than either technique would alone. The fine-grained analysis provides a view of the data that summarizes the cognitive and social processes involved in constructing the JPS. It does not convey all the richness of the sequence of events or social interaction. The second analysis complements the summary analysis by demonstrating bigger units of activity and how these are mediated by the tools that are available.

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Page: 13 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:31 PM 2.1. Quantitative results: questions and explanations

Page: 13 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:36 PM Students were expected to ask a substantial number of questions. The meta questions were expected to be the major category for the facilitator. The distribution of questions is shown in Fig. 1. Because these were experienced PBL students, they were also expected to pose many meta questions. A total of 809 questions were asked. The students asked 226 short answer questions, 51 long answer questions, and 189 meta questions.

Page: 13 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:25 PM The representation construction activity lasted for approximately one half hour and was coded at a very coarse level as to whether the drawing actions focused on anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, or clinical signs and symptoms. To examine how the representation mediated the students’ collaborative knowledge construction, a chronologically-ordered representation of discourse and tool-related activity (CORDTRA) was constructed in order to gain an integrated understanding of how students used the representation as a tool for collaborative knowledge construction (Luckin et al., 2001).

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Page: 15 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:44 PM Eighty percent of these state- ments were directly related to concepts that were important for the problem. The distribution of statement types is shown in Fig. 2.

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Page: 16 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:39:24 PM adapting the cordfu methodology (Luckin et al., 2001; Luckin et al., 1998) to create a chronologically-ordered representation of discourse and tool-related activity (cordtra) diagram, shown in Fig. 3.

Page: 16 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:38:51 PM 2.2. An integrated view of the ‘‘drawing episode’’: combining qualitative and quantitative results

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Page: 17 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:39:30 PM 2.2.1. Interpreting CORDTRA

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Page: 19 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:39:41 PM The CORDTRA diagram shows the relation of the discourse to the drawing activity. This makes salient the nature of student talk as they switch between different levels of representation. At the junctures where student drawing activity switches from representations of basic science processes to signs and symptoms, or between levels of science, the students engage in causal ela- borations.

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Page: 20 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:39:49 PM This excerpt corresponds to lines 347–374 on the CORDTRA diagram. Here the students were getting closer to bringing the problem of demyelination to specific structures (the dorsal column) and then mapping it onto the signs and symptoms that the patient is actually exhibiting. More- over, they were monitoring the fit between the symptoms that she is exhibiting and their theore- tical descriptions.

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Page: 21 Author: bodong Subject: Highlight Date: 21/05/2013, 9:39:55 PM This analysis provides considerable information about the relationship among variables and representation construction that the frequency counts do not provide. The fine-grained analysis summarizes the cognitive and social activity, but does not capture the richness of the collaborative explanations that students construct. The analysis of the larger units of discourse help shed light on this phenomenon, as well as providing some infor- mation about how the representation served as a tool for the students’ collaborative thinking. The CORDTRA diagram makes salient the relation of metacognitive talk and causal explanation to the conceptual space covered in the drawing activity and supports making complex inferences that might otherwise be difficult. This allows exploration of the relationship between tool use (in this case, a drawing) and collaborative knowledge construction. The different methods provide the opportunity to see more of the elephant than any one method does by itself.

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