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Submissions/Learning as Knowledge Building (with Wikis?)

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 3014
Title of the submission
Learning as Knowledge Building (with Wikis?)
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Teemu Leinonen, Tarmo Toikkanen
E-mail address
teemu, tarmo
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Aalto University, Wikimedia Finland
Personal homepage or blog
http://www.teemuleinonen.fi, http://www.tarmo.fi
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Knowledge Building theory (Bereiter & Scardamalia 1993) aims to explain practices in a community of learners that are primary learning by creating knowledge. The roots of the Knowledge Building are in the early 1990’s experiments of using computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) systems in a local classroom computer networks. Central in the Knowledge Building is social generation of ideas, inquiry, discourse and synthesis made out of them. Ideas are the medium — they are improved in a social interaction leading to deeper understanding on them among the participants.

Knowledge Building is possible in any level: students can start to explore ideas from their own level. In the Knowledge Building thinking there are similarities to the Sugata Mitras’ (2012) Self-organizing Learning Environment (SOLE) idea where children are expected to study topics relatively independently with their peers with a help of the Internet. This way the participants can experience the process of finding-out by themselves, instead of asked to accept someone else point of views. Therefore students will gain critical thinking skills and deep understanding on the topics studied.

After the rise of the Web, online forums and wikis, many of the original Knowledge Building ideas have been forgotten, although one may also see the social web tools as knowledge building environments (Leinonen 2010). Still, when compared to original CSCL tools designed for Knowledge Building to the most common online social media tools of today (blogs, wikis, social network service, micro-blogs), we see that many of them are missing some crucial features to really support Knowledge Building. In the early CSCL tools the pre-defined thinking type categorization of the discussion notes (e.g. problem, hypothesis, scientific explanation, summary etc.) was a core feature and found helping participants to have meaningful discourse on the topics under study. Today, having categorization of notes in an online forums or discussion pages of wikis is rare.

Wikis are great tools for building repositories on existing scientific information, like in the case of the Wikipedia. Wikis are not necessary good tools for deep Knowledge Building starting from topics unknown for the participants.

In the presentation I am giving an introduction to the pedagogical bases of the Knowledge Building practices and self-organizing learning environment. After this I am asking could wikis be online learning environments that are guiding people to deep Knowledge Building processes? What kind of features it would require from the wiki’s discussion pages to server this purpose? Furthermore, in the presentation I am showing examples from CSCL / Knowledge Building environments.

* Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. interesting topic, have written some things around this too Sjgknight (talk) 08:58, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Martin Kraus (talk) 10:48, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Ziko (talk) 22:17, 14 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Add your username here.