Purpose & Scientific merit

The Internet has tremendously advanced the opportunities for collaboration and education. Particularly the number of people involved has increased to unprecedented levels. Web 2.0 developments, for example, enable mass collaboration in a literal sense (e.g., thousands of users who make contributions to Wikipedia). Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow for audiences that exceed traditional numbers many times over: Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world may participate in courses of renowned universities and even gain course credits. Last not least, the contributions of a multitude of amateur scientists are highly welcome when it comes to collecting or analyzing large sets of data within the public participation in scientific research (citizen science)—be it for counting birds or analyzing data from NASA mars missions.

To date, however, this development has no equivalent in the scientific community on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Rather, CSCL research mainly deals with small groups in synchronous face-to-face settings such as school classes. The findings gained from studies with small groups cannot be generalized to masses, however. What we need is therefore a research agenda on large-scale learning and knowledge construction.

This workshop therefore seeks to instigate an exchange of researchers that are working on mass collaboration or mass education. Moreover the workshop aims at bridging the different scientific disciplines involved in the topic. To this end, researchers from the field of psychology, education and information technology will participate and the talks will cover theories, methods, and tools, which apply to mass collaboration and education. We are positive that this meeting should provide a fruitful means to bring existing approaches together.