ERIC Number: EJ774871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 40
Making Sense of Epistemic Categories: Analysing Students' Use of Categories of Progressive Inquiry in Computer Mediated Collaborative Activities
Arnseth, H. C.; Saljo, R.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v23 n5 p425-439 Oct 2007
The topic of this article concerns how students make sense of categories of progressive inquiry made available to them through a discussion and inquiry type of software called Future Learning Environments 2 (FLE2). The idea behind tools of this kind is to induce approaches to school-work that build on the metaphor of learning as research. By pursuing a socio-cultural perspective on the topic of categories and categorization, we analyse in detail how students make sense of these categories, including how their sense-making relates to other concerns they have to manage when engaged in the institutional practices of studying. We demonstrate that students encounter significant challenges when engaged in the categorization work required by FLE2 and its underlying pedagogical model of progressive inquiry. Therefore, we conclude that to develop educational practices similar to the scientific practices on which such tools rely is more complex than merely following a step-by-step model of inquiry. To be able to evaluate truth claims and factuality involves the mastery of a whole range of historically developed skills and knowledge, and it is therefore not surprising that the students find it difficult to make adequate interpretations of what the categories entail, and how they should be used.
Descriptors: Learning Activities, Educational Practices, Classification, Computer Software, Inquiry, Learning Processes, Models, Scientific Methodology, Educational Principles, Teaching Methods, Computer Mediated Communication, Discussion Groups, Computer Assisted Instruction, Educational Technology, Evaluative Thinking, Instructional Effectiveness, Assignments, Computer Software Evaluation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A