Knowledge Building in Online Environments: Constraining and Enabling Collective Intelligence

Knowledge Building in Online Environments: Constraining and Enabling Collective Intelligence

Craig Deed (La Trobe University, Australia) and Anthony Edwards (Liverpool Hope University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2494-8.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter describes two conceptual frameworks for the analysis of online knowledge building: outsideness and developing adaptive expertise. The affordances of the metaphor of outsideness are outlined in relation to the construction of knowledge through the sharing and exploration of personal and cultural perspectives, asking questions to resolve doubt, and as a driver of purposeful academic conversation. Developing expertise is examined through the identification of the knowledge and skills for idea generation and evaluation in online environments, and optimal engagement in these learning contexts. A case study is provided of higher education students from three countries working together using a wiki to construct knowledge about teaching and learning. The authors present these two frameworks in order to increase understanding of the knowledge and skills needed by students in higher education to engage with the affordances of collective intelligence systems.
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Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence generally refers to the seeking or creation of new knowledge at the intersection of the social and Semantic Web. In sum, the process is afforded through Web 2.0 tools and both draws upon and challenges the notion of the expert and expert knowledge.

The Web 2.0 tools that have enabled collective intelligence—for example: wikis and blogs, hyper-linking, Rich Site Summary (RSS) and Google—are essentially a set of philosophically similar practices and principles that aim to harness the power of the Internet (O'Reilly, 2007). Although the general features of collective intelligence are described below, it is not possible to definitively articulate this dynamic meta-concept.

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