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Learning Issu es in P rob lem-Ba sed Lea rning: Situ ating Collaborative Information Seeking

By Timothy Koschmann, Gerry Stahl and Ab Stract


Information seeking is typically situated within an interpersonal and problem-solving context. We have examined the process by which a group of medical students engages in collaborative information seeking within a pedagogy known as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Here, the identity of learning issues (LIs) persists through successive phases of recognition, researching, reporting, and reflection. These explicit learning issues help to structure the interplay of individual and group efforts. A detailed theory and effective procedures have been developed to guide skilled tutors in coaching groups through collaborative information seeking around learning issues in face-to-face meetings. We are now exploring computer support to enhance this particular conception of knowledge seeking and to enable distance collaboration. The introduction of technology into PBL has implications for all four phases of the processing of LIs. Collaborative information environments offer the potential for integrating knowledge from different phases and supporting aspects of collaboration. We use a metaphor of interpretive perspectives to help individuals and groups create multiple dynamic representations of shared knowledge to meet various interacting needs

Year: 2009
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