Learning Through Collaborative Information Seeking

Knight, Simon and Littleton, Karen (2015). Learning Through Collaborative Information Seeking. In: Hansen, Preben; Shah, Chirag and Klas, Claus-Peter eds. Collaborative Information Seeking: Best practices, New Domains, New Thoughts. Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Springer International Publishing, pp. 101–116.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-18988-8

URL: http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319185415


This chapter discusses Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS) from an educational perspective. Our core claim is that CIS has the potential to bring together rich collaborative, and multimodal, contexts in which important learning processes may take place. We thus see CIS as more than just an activity with potential to ‘speed up’ information seeking, or contribute to effective division of labour. This claim is independent of the particular classroom subject, or the form of technological mediation; rather, the chapter provides a focus on some key considerations in collaborative learning that should be of interest to both educators and those interested in the ‘benefits’ of CIS. This chapter first outlines our broad educational interest in elements of CIS, connecting that to the focal points of CIS research. We go on to highlight the importance of dialogue as a tool for learning, before discussing the complexities of understanding ‘success’ in CIS tasks, and then specifically the role that dialogue has played so far in CIS research. We conclude with a call to researchers in both CIS and education to explore the nature of learning in CIS contexts, making use of a rich understanding of the importance of dialogue to create meaning together.

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