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Using Virtual Teams To Improve Information Literacy And Distributed Cognition In A Collaborative Writing And General Chemistry Assignment

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Writing and Portfolios

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

13.1368.1 - 13.1368.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3802

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

biography

Jung Oh Kansas State University-Salina

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Jung Oh is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Kansas State University at Salina. She earned her Ph.D. from UCLA and was an ASEE postdoctoral fellow at Naval Air Warfare Center. She was 2004 Wakonse Teaching fellow and 2006 Peer Review of Teaching fellow at K-State. Her interests in scholarship of teaching include cross-curricular innovation.

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biography

Judith Collins Kansas State University-Salina

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Judith Collins is an Associate Professor of English at Kansas State University at Salina. She earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2001. Her research interests include information literacy, instructional technology, and literature and technology.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using virtual teams to improve information literacy and distributed cognition in a collaborative writing and general chemistry assignment

How might individual information literacy skills contribute to the work of the group? Would a cross-curricular assignment generate observable communication related to distributed cognition during virtual team activities?

Introduction

Two collaborating faculty developed a linked assignment in a general education chemistry course and an upper-level technical writing course. The goals of our collaboration were to foster students’ control, awareness and demonstration of learning, improve student information literacy, and cultivate students’ negotiations with team members. We use the term “distributed cognition” to describe virtual interactions among students that led to fulfilling the goals of the linked assignment. Students’ information literacy skills “funded” the pool of knowledge for student teams to access as they address the problems posed by their assignment to build a presentation.

Definitions

Information literacy (also known as information fluency) is an umbrella concept encompassing library instruction, computer literacy, critical thinking, communication, ethics, and lifelong learning. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as “the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information”1 and presents information literacy standards for science, engineering and technology.2 Information literacy enables learners to “master content and extent their investigations and become more self- directed, and assume greater control over their own learning”.3

Lave and Wegner proposed that “situated learning” occurs within the context of a “community of practice”, a “set of relations among persons, activities, and world, over time and in relation with other overlapping communities”.4 They claimed that in the community of practice, learning results from the structure of practice, rather than exclusively from the structure of pedagogy; a novice progresses through various stages of participation, including learning the specialized tools and discourse of the community. Ben-Ari, speaking as one engaged in science education, emphasizes the role of curricular content as well as the learning activities in the communities of practice.5 Robey, Khoo, et.al, extend community of practice to “virtual” communities in their study.6

Donath, Spray, Alford, et. al. used the term, “distributed cognition” to explain the integrated contributions of team members,7 where every person contributes to the learning of every other person. Cognition, rather than an individual function, is an activity distributed among persons and their environment. Donath and partners identified seven speech events associated with active learning: critique, elicitation of critique, internalization and awareness of knowledge gained, contextualization and explanation of research or related ideas, negotiations and

Oh, J., & Collins, J. (2008, June), Using Virtual Teams To Improve Information Literacy And Distributed Cognition In A Collaborative Writing And General Chemistry Assignment Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3802

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