Areas of Expertise

Computer-supported collaborative learning, learning analytics, knowledge building, higher order competencies, and networked scholarship

Research Summary

Computer-Supported Collaborative Knowledge Building

My research agenda focuses on devising computer-supported collaborative learning environments and feedback tools for group knowledge building. Motivated by a societal need for “21st century competencies” and troubled by the practice of using technology to merely digitize traditional pedagogy, I aim to use technologies as a tool to uncover student competencies beyond curriculum standards. This interest evolved from my initial studies of 7 to 8-year-olds’ capabilities in identifying “promising ideas” and conducting “metadiscourse”–tasks normally assumed by the teacher. Applying design-based research, I iteratively design and revise technological and pedagogical interventions to help students embark on such practice, and trace students’ domain knowledge, epistemic beliefs, collaboration, and vocabulary development.

Learning Analytics: With Smaller or Bigger Data

I research learning analytics, with a focus on semantic, temporal and discourse analytics

  • Richer data: Related to the first strand, I collaborate with colleagues to develop analytics of/for group knowledge building. Work in this area aims to piece together analytics in the semantic, social, and temporal aspects for formative feedback.
  • Bigger data: I participated in an earlier Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) project in Toronto and am now spearheading an ongoing MOOC project in collaboration with a team in Beijing. The current project focuses on persistent teacher-learners in several Chinese MOOCs.

In addition, I develop tools for and co-chair workshops on temporal analysis of learning data.

Open, Networked Scholarship

In addition, I have a strong interest in open networked scholarship mediated by social media, focusing on academic community dynamics on Twitter.

I am committed to making my research openly accessible as much as possible, by sharing annotated bibliographies, using the OSF platform to cooridinate research projects, writing publications on Authorea, publishing source code resulting from my research efforts on Github, and hosting my course content on Github as well.

See my publications for details.


Crisscross Landscapes

Bodong Chen, University of Minnesota

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