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Knowledge exchange

Knowledge Exchange Lab

Knowledge exchange and collaborative learning are crucial elements in many educational contexts. Sharing knowledge with others does not only have motivational, but cognitive advantages: Learners may receive help, are triggered to externalize their knowledge, and might be able to yield creative solutions to problems that they couldn't have mastered individually. Digital media can support and impact processes of knowledge exchange in educationally meaningful ways. In two areas of research, the Knowledge Exchange Lab investigates the various ways in which knowledge exchange can be facilitated. One area of research deals with Knowledge Exchange in Face-to-Face Settings, and investigates the use of digital media in classrooms, museums, or libraries. In contrast, the second area of research (Knowledge Exchange in Distributed Settings) addresses technologies that enable knowledge exchange among persons over a distance. These two research areas are united in the research efforts of the independent junior lab “Group Awareness in Teams”, affiliated with the “Knowledge Exchange” lab.

Research Area: Knowledge Exchange in Face-to-Face Settings

In face-to-face settings digital media can be employed in order to provide collaborators with shared artifacts, e.g. external representations that can be explored, manipulated, or even designed by learners. A shared artifact offers a frame of reference for knowledge exchange, and helps in making collaborative learning visible. Examples are collaborative design of videos in classroom contexts, the joint exploration of digital objects at a multi touch table located in a museum, or collaborative literature search at an interactive table in a library. Moreover, in this area of research we address the orchestration of collaborative learning, e.g. the lesson planning of teachers who want to introduce collaborative learning methods in the classroom, or the large-scale embedding of collaborative learning methods within a school.

Research Area: Knowledge Exchange in Distributed Settings

In contrast to face-to-face settings, distributed settings are characterized by a lack of contextual information. Therefore research often focuses on technological developments that try to re-build the richness of face-to-face environments. However, our approach goes one step beyond this idea by not only trying to compensate for limitations, but by providing contextual information that would be difficult or impossible to yield in face-to-face settings – e.g. by informing about the knowledge or the opinions of others. So-called awareness tools do not only inform learners about how a group "thinks", but can also foster reflection about one's own activities – an example would be mobile applications that support processes of critical thinking. Larger communities where members do not know each other in person are an interesting context where these forms of support could become crucial. Therefore, this area of research focuses on group awareness tools in Web 2.0 contexts, e.g. in the way that information from recommender systems is processed, in the way information is shared in microblogging servies, or in the way that controversial viewpoints are discussed in online forums.

Junior Lab „Group Awareness in Teams“

In group settings it is important to be informed about the team partners. This junior lab assesses Group Awareness Tools, which inform team members about the cognitive and social aspects of their team partners.
Using the Knowledge and Information Awareness research approach by Engelmann, whereby team members are informed about the knowledge structures and information of the team partners, the junior lab pursues three research themes looking at both distributed as well as face-to-face settings: The 1st research theme encompasses the empirical validation of the theoretical independence of the Knowledge and Information Awareness concept from related concepts. The 2nd research theme looks at the presentation and acquisition of Knowledge and Information Awareness contents. The focus of the 3rd research theme is applying the approach to additional cognitive content, for example, being informed about the priorities of the team partners. The leadership of this junior lab founded by Dr. Tanja Engelmann, was handed over to Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedrich Hesse in February 2014.


Team Knowledge exchange


Determinants of Peer Productivity in Online Discussion Forums

Digital media that people use in their leisure time to exchange knowledge (e.g., online discussion forums, Twitter, Facebook) require active participation and peer productivity. Although productivity is important for self-sustaining communities, little is known about the conditions that drive productivity or how contributions can be optimized for efficient learning. The goal of this project is to examine what drives productivity in different online forums and sharing platforms.

Evaluation bias in media supported scenarios

Most people need to solve complex problems and face difficult decisions on a daily basis. However, people often fail to come to the right conclusions because cognitive distortions influence their information processing. In this project we focus on the formation of such a cognitive bias and on ways to counteract it.

How to align your team: Preference Awareness in the negotiation preparation of teams for fostering joint team priorities

Individuals, who work together as a team, often have different preferences and objectives. This also applies to members of negotiation teams. Yet, diverse preferences of the team members are often insufficiently exchanged and aligned to joint priorities prior to a negotiation, which impairs the negotiation performance. My PhD project examines how joint priorities within the team can be fostered, in order to derive recommendations for the management of teams.

Improvement of Negotiations through Awareness

Computer-supported negotiations can be improved by making the negotiators aware of their different priorities. The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the so called priority awareness and foster it by an adequate information design. This not only has practical relevance for negotiations in a professional setting, but also for everyday negotiations in private life.

Perspective Taking during Joint Action

Collaborating with a partner on a shared task requires both actors to coordinate their actions on an ongoing basis. Actors have to observe the actions of their partner, understand his or her intentions, and adjust their own behavior accordingly. Perspective taking is a process that helps actors to achieve this coordination by assessing their partner’s perceptions and mental states.

The role of sociocognitive conflict in scientific knowledge exchange

The goal of this PhD project is to examine the role of sociocognitive conflict in determining what scientists discuss and work on, and thus learning more generally. This goal is pursued particularly by examining the scientific publications themselves and discussion about those papers in online forums and discussion groups.

Theoretical and Empirical Foundation of the Knowledge and Information Awareness-Approach as well as its Expansion to Further Cognitive Contents

In group situations, it is important to have knowledge about the collaborating partners‘ knowledge. However, its acquisition is difficult, especially in virtual groups. The approach for fostering knowledge and information awareness developed by Engelmann improves collaboration and group performance and helps to overcome collaboration barriers. The project addresses important outstanding questions.

Former Projects

graduation papers

Masterarbeit: Wissensaustausch durch Medien

In manchen Situationen ist man der oder die Neue. Seien es nun neue Kollegen oder Kommilitonen: oft weiß man nicht, was man voneinander halten soll. Besonders schwierig wird es, wenn ein neu gebildetes Team eine Aufgabe erhält, die schnell bewältigt werden muss. Wie teilt man sich die Arbeit auf? Wer hat welche Kompetenzen und Präferenzen? Wer ist ein Zugpferd und wer ein Trittbrettfahrer? Und wie behält man den Überblick darüber, wer gerade an was arbeitet (nicht dass nachher einige Aufgaben doppelt und andere gar nicht erledigt wurden)? Selbst in eingearbeiteten Lern- oder Arbeitsgruppen fehlen solche Informationen oft. Manches will man ja auch vielleicht gar nicht erst preisgeben …

Andererseits ist heutzutage niemand ein unbeschriebenes Blatt. Wer ein Profil in einem sozialen Netzwerk hat, bietet anderen eine einfache Möglichkeit, vieles über einen selbst auf einen Blick zu erfahren. Im Chatroom erhält man auf Anhieb eine Übersicht darüber, wer gerade online ist. Sogar Dating-Partner kann man heutzutage bewerten, und die Bewertungen anderer online einsehen.

Während wir in unserer Freizeit von Informationen über andere überschwemmt werden, fehlen uns diese Infos oft, wenn es darum geht, etwas „Wichtiges“ zu erledigen. Eine Masterarbeit in diesem Bereich würde untersuchen, wie man digitale Medien nutzen könnte, um gerade das Zusammenspiel von (neuen) Gruppen in einem Lern- oder Arbeitskontext zu unterstützen.

Ihre Ansprechpartner sind: Prof. Friedrich W. Hesse, Dr. Michail D. Kozlov, Dr. Jürgen Buder

Hilft es Mitarbeiter mit Strichcodes zu versehen

Will man mit neuen Menschen zusammenarbeiten kann es oft eine Zeit dauern bis man sich auf einander eingestellt hat. In räumlich verteilten Szenarios konnte gezeigt werden, dass dieser Prozess mit Hilfe von Awareness tools (mediale Mittel zur Vermittlung von Informationen über z.B. den Wissensstand des Partners) vereinfacht werden kann. In dieser Masterarbeit soll untersucht werden ob Awareness auch in Presänzbasierten Arbeitsszenarien nützlich sein kann. Als Tool bieten sich hier z.B. Businesskarten mit QR codes an die mit einem Sozialen Netzwerkprofil verlinkt sind. Diese Karten können am Anfang einer Präsenzbasierten Zusammenarbeit ausgetauscht werden, um den Teilnehmern einen detaillierten Einblick die gegenseitigen (Aufgabenrelevanten) Vorlieben und Kompetenzen zu geben.

Ihr Ansprechpartner ist: Dr. Michail D. Kozlov