Dialogues and Perception of Intersubjectivity in a Small Group

Dialogues and Perception of Intersubjectivity in a Small Group

Mei-Chung Lin (National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan), Mei-Chi Chen (National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan) and Chin-Chang Chen (National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0011-9.ch706
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The core value of Web 2.0 lies in its potential for building technologies that are open, decentralized, and shared. This paper designs group activity to facilitate knowledge building and move on learning management system to web 2.0 paradigms with computer supported collaborative learning in a small group. The “give-take” metaphor for knowledge construction in a small group discourse only interprets the solo voice phenomenon in asynchronous forums. Tumultuous, parallel, and connected voices in synchronous conferencing need alternative metaphors to understand the self and the other in a personified way. This paper represents discourse evidence of emerging meaning making, expertise commentary, self-identity, and collective confirmation as a process in small group collective knowledge-building.
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In 2001, the Taiwan Ministry of Education (TMOE) inaugurated a new k-9 curriculum. At the core of this curriculum are ten key competencies that we wish all children to possess. Inquiry and research, one of the ten key competencies, is quite foreign to most school teachers in Taiwan. In 2010, the TMOE inaugurated another k10-12 curriculum for vocational education. Project study is the core of the school based curriculum and through this course we hope students be able to transmit knowledge from school to work. Even project practice taught at undergraduate level, collaborative learning and learner centered teaching strategy are the important issue in a project small group at all educational level.

Designing learning activities for online courses on “Research Methodology” usually involves tools to enable group discussions. Such learning activities emphasize openness, dialogue, and consensus building through the exchange of ideas. Within the talking-listening space afforded by a learning activity, the perception of intersubjectivity that helps individuals to understand self and others’ intention and to develop shared knowledge should be investigated. In this study, we focus on intentionality as the ontology of source of knowledge among members in such a community of knowledge-building (Bereiter, Scardamalia, Cassells, & Hewitt, 1997; Biggs, 1992; Gan & Zhu, 2007; Koschmann, 1996; Nonaka & Konno, 1998; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1996b; Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006; Weinberger, Reiserer, Ertl, Fischer, & Mandl, 2005).

Increasingly, studies on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) are moving away from meaning-making through the use of reading and writing strategies toward perception of intersubjectivity as a dynamic process of polyphony. Polyphony is a complex phenomenon that goes beyond talking-listening and giving-taking. Educators arrange pre-planned activities to improve the efficiency of knowledge telling, such as video presentations, issue follow-up, problem formulation, project planning, referring to literature, critiquing scientific writing, knowledge sharing, and giving/modifying commentary. These activities enhance learners’ productive writing by promoting self-understanding, deeper learning, self-reflection, and feedback evaluation. Compared to the traditional approach, these activities are more effective for helping learners achieve higher academic performance, accomplish in-depth problem analysis, gain self-confidence, and acquire better reading comprehension (Scardamalia, Bereiter, & Steinbach, 1984; Scardamalia, Bereiter, McLean, Swallow, & Woodruff, 1989; Scardamalia, Bereiter, Brett, Burtis, Calhoun, & Smith, 1992; Scardamalia, Bereiter, & Lamon, 1994; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1991, 1996a, 1996b).

Unfortunately, studies on CSCL have not been successful to disclose knowledge convergence in group process. The evaluation methods used to analyze CSCL in the past decade have met with new roadblocks. First, although effect studies with pre- and post-tests determine variances and learners’ changed cognition, they do not reveal the group’s shared cognition (Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006; Dillenbourg, Baker, Blaye, & O'Malley, 1996). Second, reciprocal teaching studies employing discourse analysis to classify self-explanation and self-other explanation attempt to investigate the degree of improved learning outcome; however, no manifest relationship between talkers’ performance and listeners’ elaborate explanation has been observed. The only relation we can establish is that talkers’ performance is related to talkers’ elaborated explanation. Such studies do not wholly or partially explain how group members connect with each other’s ideas and thinking. In this study, we aim to track group process and arrange dialogue to enhance subjectivity and intersubjectivity within a small group.

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