The Orchestration of a Collaborative Information Seeking Learning Task

Knight, Simon; Rienties, Bart; Littleton, Karen; Tempelaar, Dirk; Mitsui, Matthew and Shirag, Chirag (2017). The Orchestration of a Collaborative Information Seeking Learning Task. Information Retrieval Journal, 20(5) pp. 480–505.



The paper describes our novel perspective on ‘searching to learn’ through collaborative information seeking (CIS). We describe this perspective, which motivated empirical work to ‘orchestrate’ a CIS searching to learn session. The work is described through the lens of orchestration, an approach which brings to the fore the ways in which: background context – including practical classroom constraints, and theoretical perspective; actors – including the educators, researchers, and technologies; and activities that are to be completed, are brought into alignment. The orchestration is exemplified through the description of research work designed to explore a pedagogically salient construct (epistemic cognition), in a particular institutional setting. Evaluation of the session indicated satisfaction with the orchestration from students, with written feedback indicating reflection from them on features of the orchestration. We foreground this approach to demonstrate the potential of orchestration as a design approach for researching and implementing CIS as a ‘searching to learn’ context.

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