I see what you did there! Divergent collaboration and learner transitions from unproductive to productive states in open-ended inquiry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While open-ended and tinkering-based learning environments offer considerable support for developing STEM-based reasoning and collaboration skills, understanding how and when learners are engaged in productive or unproductive exploration is a pressing challenge. This is particularly true in museums where dwell times are short and visitors can enter and exit exhibits at varying times. In response, this work aimed to answer two questions: 1) How can we combine learning analytics and qualitative approaches to understand how learners move from unproductive to productive states during open-ended inquiry? 2) What role do interactions with others play in supporting participants' transitions to productive states? To answer these questions, this study examined how combining a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and interaction analysis together can reveal important elements of participants’ collaboration and exploration that would likely be lost if each method were applied in isolation. The methods were applied to visitors participating at an interactive multi-touch exhibit (named Oztoc). The application of HMM successfully captured when participants transitioned from persistent unproductive to productive states, while interaction analysis using the Divergent Collaborative Learning Mechanisms framework (DCLM) showed how specific divergent collaborative interactions supported these transitions. In particular, we reveal the role that visitors engaging in Boundary Spanning Perception and Boundary Spanning Action played in these transitions. More broadly, this work shows how designs that provide opportunities for these kinds of interactions may help learners effectively transition out of sustained states of unproductive persistence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103739
JournalComputers and Education
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Computer supported collaborative learning
  • Divergent collaboration
  • Exploratory learning
  • Interactive tabletops
  • Tinkering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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