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Collaborative Knowledge Building at the Tabletop

Primary supervisor

Roberto Martinez-Maldonado

The research challenge for this project is to curate a dataset captured in a collaborative learning setting in which teams of three students engaged in conversations and created a joint concept map. The goal is to analyse the content of their conversations and concept maps they created at a multi-touch tabletop and model the epistemic constructs reflected in both their conversations and the artefact they jointly create. Depending on the trajectory that you take, examples of the questions that such a project could investigate include:

  • How can learning analytics approaches be applied to automatically model the content of conversations and the meanings embedded in students' artefacts?
  • How can epistemic network analysis be applied to model the content of concept maps?
  • How can epistemic network analysis be used to characterise the knowledge appropriation in high and low achieving groups? 
  • How can active students and leaders provoke an epistemic shift on less active students? 
Concept mapping at the tabletop

Student cohort

Double Semester


The following paper can serve as an illustrative example of this strand of research:

From Touches to Teamwork Constructs: Towards Automatically Visualising Collaboration ProcessesSeventh Mexican Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, MexIHC 2018, 8:1-8:4.

What is epistemic network analysis? 

Required knowledge

Skills and dispositions required:

  • Analytical, creative and innovative approach to solving problems
  • Strong interest in designing and conducting quantitative, qualitative or mixed-method studies
  • Experience with data mining, data analytics or business intelligence tools (e.g. Weka, ProM, RapidMiner). Visualisation tools are a bonus.

It is advantageous if you can evidence:

  • Experience in designing and conducting quantitative, qualitative or mixed-method studies
  • Familiarity with educational theory, instructional design or learning sciences 
  • Design of user-centred software