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Factors of Self-Creating Digital Concept Maps for Fostering Knowledge and Information Awareness and Problem-Solving Performance in Virtual Groups

Junior Lab "Group Awareness in Teams" affiliated with Knowledge Exchange Lab


April 2013 - September 2015


German Research Foundation (DFG)


In collaborative learning settings, it is important that the group members are informed about the knowledge of their collaboration partners. However, acquisition of such knowledge is difficult, especially in virtual groups, that is, groups with spatially distributed members collaborating via computer. To solve this problem effectively, the project coordinator developed an approach for fostering knowledge and information awareness, which provides members of virtual groups with the knowledge structures of their collaboration partners as well as the underlying information by means of digital concept maps. This approach has been demonstrated to improve group performance and to help overcome important collaboration barriers. However, in studies in which the awareness contents had to be created by group members themselves, major problems appeared which reduced the effectiveness of this approach. Nevertheless, self-generation of such contents is indispensable in application fields (e.g., at school). Therefore, the goal of this research proposition is to solve the problems of self-generation of awareness contents in order to be able to use the advantages of the knowledge and information awareness approach in application fields.

In February 2014, Prof. Dr. Dr. Hesse was handed over the leadership of this project started by PD Dr. Tanja Engelmann and him.