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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.

SALIENT: Search as Learning – Investigating, Enhancing and Predicting Learning during Multimodal Web Search

The Internet has become indispensable when it comes to searching for information. Such an information search can be understood as a self-regulated learning process: Constructing knowledge while surfing the seemingly endless data stream is a challenging task. The SALIENT project contributes to a better understanding of search as learning and develops methods to support the acquisition of knowledge through the Internet with the help of ranking and retrieval algorithms.

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: The influence of collaborative knowledge development on attitudes and emotions

Whether it is record disks, pay back points, or garden gnoms: More than 50% of the citizens in Germany collect something. In so-called Citizen Science projects, citizens are increasingly collecting data about e.g. wildlife animals or bats. Yet, little is known so far about the success factors of these projects. Therefore, the aim of the WTimpact project is to investigate how to optimally design Citizen Science projects.

Former Projects

graduation papers