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Knowledge construction

Knowledge Construction Lab

The construction of new knowledge is based partly on the individual preconception people have of an issue, and partly on the exchange and interaction between people who contribute their respective views to this issue. Knowledge construction thus has both an intra-individual and an inter-personal side: Learning and knowledge processes in an individual interact with processes and activities that take place between people. These processes are the central focus of the Knowledge Construction Lab. A lot of the projects are based on the co-evolution model that Cress and Kimmerle have presented in 2008 to describe the processes of knowledge construction with respect to cognitive psychology and systemic theories. Since then, this theoretical framework has been continuously developed and applied to media-based exchange scenarios such as Wikipedia, online communities or social tagging platforms.

The research projects of the lab can be assigned to two research lines: The first line of research, Knowledge construction in informal contexts, deals with situations in which the processes of knowledge construction occur mainly in informal settings, such as social networks or web communities, and people act primarily according to their self-imposed goals. The second line of research, Knowledge construction in formal contexts, examines situations where knowledge construction is integrated into formal scenarios, such as in schools and universities, or with an institutionally predetermined direction.

Team Knowledge construction


AFEL – Analytics for Everyday Learning

The research project AFEL (Analytics for Everyday Learning) is funded by the EU research and innovation programme 'Horizon 2020' and aims at investigating the processes of learning and knowledge construction on the internet. Psychologists, psycholinguists, data scientists, and software engineers work together to develop tools to support these online learning processes.

Collaborative Biases

Are individual biases mirrored in collaborative web contents? For instance, is the Ukraine presented in a systematically more favorable light than Russia in the Ukrainian Wikipedia article about the Crimean Crisis and is Russia favored in the Russian Wikipedia article about the Crimean Crisis? If biases such as this in-group bias are contained in online encyclopedias as well, these biases could shape the view of a broad audience.

Collaborative knowledge construction in Wikipedia

Have you ever looked something up on Wikipedia? Or have you also contributed yourself to Wikipedia? The web 2.0 is changing processes of knowledge construction. The question is how knowledge develops on Wikipedia and how the individual Internet user influences the construction of knowledge in turn.

Digital Learning Map 2020 | Success Factors of Digital Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

The LearnMap project evaluates existing empirical studies on the efficacy of digital teaching and learning at the university and maps national projects, products and concepts using digital media in higher education. For this, a framework model is being developed in order to evaluate existing teaching and learning arrangements from a learning science and psychological perspective, assess their effectiveness and, on this basis, foster the exchange between teachers and researchers.

Impact of different representations of scientific information on people’s knowledge and attitudes

In this research project we examine how different forms of presenting factual information influence people’s knowledge about and attitudes toward foxes. In particular, the project deals with the impact of different forms of visual and textual representations. It examines whether emotionalization through visual methods has a similar effect as emotionalization mediated by textual representations.

Math with the Dancemat

Basic research on numerical cognition suggests that numbers are represented along a spatially oriented mental number line. This number line representation is crucial for complex arithmetic procedures as it is associated with children’s understanding of numerical magnitude. Additionally, recent research suggests that the development of the mental number line can be promoted by sensorimotor experiences in accordance with theories of embodied cognition. Accordingly, can children profit from embodied cognition when learning numerical competencies? Are sensorimotor experiences beneficial for learning more complex numerical and arithmetic concepts and procedures?

Medical online platforms as cognitive interfaces: The impact of individual and technological features on learning and processing of complex medical information

Patients and medically interested laypeople use online platforms to acquire knowledge about diseases and medical treatments. These online sources offer a broad range of information that differs in quality and comprehensiveness. A presentation format that is particularly suitable for representing the complexity of medical content are educational videos about medical interventions.

OpenTeach: Experimental psychological analysis of open digital teaching

The project is based on experimental research on the analysis of open digital higher education. The research questions are concerned in particular with the opening of medical teaching for further disciplines, the opening of pre-clinical teaching to practice, and the opening of teaching for the discourse of different professions.

Smart Teaching Baden-Württemberg

The project Smart Teaching Baden-Wuerttemberg accompanies ten digitization projects at universities in Baden-Württemberg. It aims to support the sustainability of the projects and to gain insights into the factors of success and obstacles for projects in the field of digital innovations. For communicating reports and practical and scientific findings from the ten projects Smart Teaching BW works in close collaboration with the E-Learning-Information portal e-teaching.org of the IWM.

The influence of social identity integration on well-being, performance and information seeking behavior

The project investigates integration processes of individuals who possess more than one social identity, because they belong to several relevant groups. Social identities can be more or less integrated in the self-concept. The project investigates the impact of social identity integration on well-being, on the effects of stereotype threat, and on the perception and selection of information coming from diverse group-related domains.

Ubiquitous Working: Challenges and Prospects of the Interconnected Working Environment

The evolution of ubiquitous computing technologies made it possible to access information and work materials independently from time and space. Due to small mobile devices such as notebooks, smartphones, or tablets, and continuous interconnection with the workplace, work can be done anywhere and anytime – work became ubiquitous. Research already deals with consequences of modern, flexible work forms like ubiquitous working (UW) regarding social or health aspects but there is little research regarding impacts of location-independent UW on other psychological variables such as work performance and cognitive functioning.

WTimpact: Influence of collaborative knowledge development on attitude and emotional connection

Within the research cluster “Collaborative knowledge development as a transfer instrument - from knowledge transfer to knowledge exchange”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, this project contributes to the development of a transfer tool to support collaborative knowledge development in the interplay of science and the public. To this end, an Internet platform is being developed in collaboration with the project partners and implemented for best practice examples of Citizen Science projects.

Former Projects

graduation papers

Masterarbeit: Lernen im Web 2.0

Das Web 2.0 bietet Werkzeuge im Netz, die sich für den Austausch von Wissen und die kooperative Konstruktion von Wissen eigenen. Ein Beispiel sind Wikis. Sie ermöglichen die gleichzeitige, kooperative Arbeit einer Vielzahl von Personen an gemeinsamen Artefakten, die allen Personen zur Nutzung und zur aktiven Weiterentwicklung offen stehen.

In der Masterarbeit soll untersucht werden, welchen Einfluss in einem Web 2.0-Setting die Öffentlichkeit (andere Personen können sehen, was ich ergänze) auf die Motivation und auf individuelles Lernen hat. Dabei interessiert auch, welche Prozesse dazu beitragen, dass über die reine Sammlung von Informationen hinaus auch die kooperative Konstruktion neuen Wissens möglich wird.

Auf Basis eines bestehenden Versuchsparadigmas, bei dem Versuchspersonen kooperativ erstellte Texte weiterbearbeiten müssen, sollen weiterführende Experimente durchgeführt werden. Je nach Interessenlage können auch weitere motivationale (z.B. Einfluss der Relevanz des Themas) oder soziale Einflussfaktoren (z.B. Zugehörigkeit zu einer sozialen Gruppe) im Rahmen der Masterarbeit untersucht werden.

Ihr Ansprechpartner ist: Herr Dr. Johannes Moskaliuk

Digitale Medien in der medizinischen Lehre und Patientenschulung

Das Internet stellt sowohl für medizinische Fachpersonen wie auch für medizinische Laien eine zentrale Informationsquelle und einen Ort des Informationsaustauschs dar. Auch von Universitäten werden hier Lehrangebote bereitgestellt, die von unterschiedlichen medizinischen Professionen (z. B. Ärzte und Therapeuten) genutzt werden können. Diese Online-Lehrangebote unterscheiden sich in der Komplexität und Interaktivität grundlegend von gängigen Lehrveranstaltungen und können ein Ort der interprofessionellen Wissenskonstruktion sein. Eine interessante Frage dabei ist zum Beispiel, inwiefern diese Lernszenarien Lernmotivation und Wissenserwerb beeinflussen. Eine weitere Fragestellung wäre, ob und unter welchen Bedingungen eine interprofessionelle Online-Lehrveranstaltung zur interprofessionellen Zusammenarbeit beitragen kann. Zudem könnte im Rahmen einer Masterarbeit untersucht werden, welchen Einfluss Vorwissen und persönliche Überzeugung auf den Umgang mit komplexem medizinischem Informationsmaterial nimmt.
Ihr Ansprechpartner ist: Herr Apl. Prof. Dr. Joachim Kimmerle

Nutzung kollektiven Wissens durch Social Tagging

In den letzten Jahren etablierte sich Social Tagging als eine Standardanwendung des Web 2.0. Social Tagging bezeichnet die freie und individuelle Vergabe von Schlagwörtern (Tags) für digitale Ressourcen, wie z. B. Bookmarks. Durch diese individuelle Annotierung von digitalen Inhalten mit Tags, die von unterschiedlichen Personen vergeben wurden, entsteht eine gemeinsame Beschreibung von Inhalten durch eine Community. Im Rahmen einer Masterarbeit könnte der Einfluss von Social Tags auf die Informationssuche im Internet und auf individuelle Lernprozesse erforscht werden.

Ihre Ansprechpartnerin ist Frau Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress

Mathe mit der Matte

In einem Kooperationsprojekt mit Prof. Nürk (Psychologisches Institut der Universität Tübingen) wird eine digitale Tanzmatte eingesetzt, um bei Vor- bzw. Grundschulkindern die Zahlenvorstellungen zu trainieren. Im Rahmen einer Masterarbeit könnte untersucht werden, inwieweit beim "Numerosity Learning" räumlich-motorische Komponenten eine Rolle spielen.

Ihre Ansprechpartnerin ist: Frau Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress