Knowledge Construction in Computer Science and Engineering when Learning Through Making

Charlton, P. and Avramides, K. (2016). Knowledge Construction in Computer Science and Engineering when Learning Through Making. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 9(4) pp. 379–390.



This paper focuses on a design based research study about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning by making through collaboration and production. This study examines learning by making by students to explore STEM using a constructionist approach with a particular focus on computer science and engineering. The use of IoT as a technology enhanced learning (TEL) tool created the learning conditions to be studied: (a) collaborative: no one person had the knowledge to complete the project alone, (b) problem-based: no off the shelf solution was used, and (c) multidisciplinary: the learning context pushed the boundaries across the subjects. The study investigated the learning conditions and indicators of collaboration and production taking place when learning about STEM. The results were used to inform the design of effective data analytics and visualization tools for the PELARS project to advance practice-based learning activities in STEM teaching. However, more specifically, the findings provide insight into the knowledge construction process when learning through making in complex environments. These insights illustrate the combined pedagogical value of collaboration and production supporting the multidisciplinary learning opportunities. The importance of community knowledge construction and its relationship to the pedagogical approach is examined. The significance of these findings in the context of IoT TEL tools in education is explored.

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