Group Cognition: Computer Support for Building Collaborative Knowledge

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Overview

Innovative uses of global and local networks of linked computers make new ways of collaborative working, learning, and acting possible. In Group Cognition Gerry Stahl explores the technological and social reconfigurations that are needed to achieve computer-supported collaborative knowledge building—group cognition that transcends the limits of individual cognition. Computers can provide active media for social group cognition where ideas grow through the interactions within groups of people; software functionality can manage group discourse that results in shared understandings, new meanings, and collaborative learning. Stahl offers software design prototypes, analyzes empirical instances of collaboration, and elaborates a theory of collaboration that takes the group, rather than the individual, as the unit of analysis.Stahl's design studies concentrate on mechanisms to support group formation, multiple interpretive perspectives, and the negotiation of group knowledge in applications as varied as collaborative curriculum development by teachers, writing summaries by students, and designing space voyages byNASA engineers. His empirical analysis shows how, in small-group collaborations, the group constructs intersubjective knowledge that emerges from and appears in the discourse itself. This discovery of group meaning becomes the springboard for Stahl's outline of a social theory of collaborative knowing. Stahl also discusses such related issues as the distinction between meaning making at the group level and interpretation at the individual level, appropriate research methodology, philosophical directions for group cognition theory, and suggestions for further empirical work.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"In this bold and brilliant book, Stahl integrates three distinct fields of knowledge: computational design, communication studies, and the learning sciences. Such an interdisciplinary effort is both timely and necessary to foster innovations for human learning. This book shows how small-group cognition can be the underlying building block for individual and collective knowledge building."—Sten Ludvigsen, Professor and Director of InterMedia, University ofOslo

"Gerry Stahl's new work targets a vitally important issue facing a twenty-first-century knowledge-based economy: How can group cognition be fostered as a new unit of analysis for research and design of computer systems crafted for building collaborative knowledge? There are many golden nuggets in this volume that will help advance the collective intelligence available on the planet for finding and tackling hard problems, from educational systems to informal workplace learning." Roy Pea , Stanford University

"Gerry Stahl's new work targets a vitally important issue facing a 21st-century knowledge-based economy: How can *group cognition* be fostered as a new unit of analysis for research and design of computer systems crafted for building collaborative knowledge? There are many golden nuggets in this volume that will help advance the collective intelligence available on the planet for finding and tackling hard problems, from educational systems to informal workplace learning."—Roy Pea, Stanford University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262195393
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2006
  • Series: Acting with Technology
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerry Stahl is Associate Professor in the College of Information Science and Technology,Drexel University. He is founding coeditor of the International Journal ofComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : essays on technology, interaction, and cognition 1
I Design of computer support for collaboration
Studies of technology design 25
1 Share globally, adapt locally 31
2 Evolving a learning environment 47
3 Armchair missions to Mars 65
4 Supporting situated interpretation 81
5 Collaboration technology for communities 93
6 Perspectives on collaborative learning 119
7 Groupware goes to school 155
8 Knowledge negotiation online 177
II Analysis of collaborative knowledge building
Studies of interaction analysis 193
9 A model of collaborative knowledge building 201
10 Rediscovering the collaboration 213
11 Contributions to a theory of collaboration 227
12 In a moment of collaboration 245
13 Collaborating with relational references 257
III Theory of group cognition
Studies of collaboration theory 277
14 Communicating with technology 285
15 Building collaborative knowing 303
16 Group meaning / individual interpretation 331
17 Shared meaning, common ground, group cognition 347
18 Making group cognition visible 361
19 Can collaborative groups think? 385
20 Opening new worlds for collaboration 409
21 Thinking at the small-group unit of analysis 431
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