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Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency: What makes complex knowledge work possible

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The University of Sydney Page 1
Interdisciplinarity and
Epistemic Fluency
What makes complex
knowledge work possible
Lina ...

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Main topics
1. Interdisciplinarity (ID): What do we mean by it?
2. Why is ID an issue for ...

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Interdisciplinarity: What do we mean by it?
Multidisciplinarity
Within disciplines/fields
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Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency: What makes complex knowledge work possible

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Webinar 2 “Interdisciplinarity in Technology-Enhanced Learning”
The topic chosen for the second edition of the Webinar series is “Interdisciplinarity in TEL”. The TEL field is interdisciplinary by definition. This makes TEL an especially interesting research field. Yet, it also brings complexity at different levels. A challenge for TEL researchers is to properly understand what is interdisciplinarity in our field, its challenges and implications. In the first part of the dialog, Lina Markauskaite will elaborate on the concept of epistemic fluency as “the capacity to understand, switch between and combine different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world” (Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2016)

Webinar 2 “Interdisciplinarity in Technology-Enhanced Learning”
The topic chosen for the second edition of the Webinar series is “Interdisciplinarity in TEL”. The TEL field is interdisciplinary by definition. This makes TEL an especially interesting research field. Yet, it also brings complexity at different levels. A challenge for TEL researchers is to properly understand what is interdisciplinarity in our field, its challenges and implications. In the first part of the dialog, Lina Markauskaite will elaborate on the concept of epistemic fluency as “the capacity to understand, switch between and combine different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world” (Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2016)

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Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency: What makes complex knowledge work possible

  1. 1. The University of Sydney Page 1 Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency What makes complex knowledge work possible Lina Markauskaitė Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation 12 December 2018 @ EATEL Webinar
  2. 2. The University of Sydney Page 2 Main topics 1. Interdisciplinarity (ID): What do we mean by it? 2. Why is ID an issue for TEL field? 3. Epistemic fluency: epistemic infrastructures and epistemic games 4. What could TEL learn from this? Images from Pexel https://www.pexels.com
  3. 3. The University of Sydney Page 3 Interdisciplinarity: What do we mean by it? Multidisciplinarity Within disciplines/fields Close disciplines Complementing Methodological Instrumental ‘Single man’ science Cooperative Collocated Knowledge focussed Professional Transdisciplinarity Across disciplines/fields Remote disciplines Hybridizing Theoretical Critical Team science Collaborative Remote Problem-focused Integration Scope Proximity Function Extent Sharing Nature Mode Role Distribution Space
  4. 4. The University of Sydney Page 4 Why Interdisciplinarity is an issue for TEL? http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v534/n7609/ful…
  5. 5. The University of Sydney Page 5 Discipline as… …a set of shared dispositions about: a) Objects b) Evidence c) Methods d) Expertise Production of cumulative knowledge Markauskaite, et al. 2011 Struggles for TEL: 1. Articulating itself as a coherent intellectual field 2. A necessity to be a dynamic field with ‘leaky’ boarders From HoTEL EU project by Richard Millwood: http://blog.richardmillwood.net/2013/05/10/learning-theory/ http://hotel-project.eu/content/learning-theories-map-richard-millwood
  6. 6. The University of Sydney Page 6 Epistemic fluency People who are flexible and adept with respect to different kinds of specialised and context-specific knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency. After Morrison & Collins, 1996
  7. 7. The University of Sydney Page 7 How does complex knowledge work get done? Epistemic infrastructure – basic conceptual, material and organisational structures and facilities needed for the operation of the ‘knowledge enterprise’ in a filed Professional epistemic games – ways of knowing that practitioners in a field use for generating (situated) knowledge that informs their action Images from Pexel https://www.pexels.com
  8. 8. The University of Sydney Page 8 Epistemic infrastructure Conceptual infrastructure Codes Knowledge storage tools Contributing literacies Substantive professional knowledge base Knowledge & retrieval tools Competence codes Practice codes Technical codes Epistemic tools (see Figure 13.1) Learning infrastructure Information infrastructure Boundary infrastructure Material infrastructure General information retrieval tools Exemplars Updates Inter-professional knowledge tools General technical & material affordances Contributing knowledge bases Intra-professional knowledge tools Professional technical & material affordances Socio-political infrastructure Domain specific agendas General agendas Epistemic infrastructure
  9. 9. The University of Sydney Page 9 Socio-cognitive Social Socio-material Cognitive Material Epistemic frames Epistemic devices Epistemic instruments & equipment Codes Information infrastructure Boundary infrastructure Learning infrastructure Material (digital) infrastructure Conceptual infrastructure Socio-political infrastructure Epistemic infrastructure
  10. 10. The University of Sydney Page 10 Epistemic games Epistemic games 2. Situated problem-solving games 3. Meta-professional games Research games Producing games Coding games Concept combination games Articulation games Evaluation games Making games 4. Trans-professional games Sense-making games Exchanging games 1. Propositional games 6. Weaving games 5. Translational public games Conceptual tool- making games Routine games Semi-scripted games Concept games Public tool- making games Organising games Open games Investigative discourse games Decomposing & assembling games Flexible games Semi-constrained games Situation-specific games Standardisation discourse games Conceptual discourse games Informal discourse games
  11. 11. The University of Sydney Page 11 Main points 1. There is no good or bad interdisciplinarity 2. It’s important to be clear what sorts of ID problems we have and what sorts of ID we need 3. Building socio-technical (sic!) epistemic infrastructure is important for any mature field 4. Being more precise how productive ID work gets done could help do it better (see Epistemic games) It’s important to understand our own field Images from Pexel https://www.pexels.com
  12. 12. The University of Sydney Page 12 Email: Lina.Marakauskaite@sydney.edu.au Thank you eBook: https://www.springer.com/ 9789400743687

Editor's Notes

  • Webinar 2 “Interdisciplinarity in Technology-Enhanced Learning”
     
    Dialog between Lina Markauskaite and Carolyn Rosé, December 12th, 2018, at 3pm CET
      
    The topic chosen for the second edition of the Webinar series is “Interdisciplinarity in TEL”. The TEL field is interdisciplinary by definition. This makes TEL an especially interesting research field. Yet, it also brings complexity at different levels. A challenge for TEL researchers is to properly understand what is interdisciplinarity in our field, its challenges and implications. In the first part of the dialog, Lina Markauskaite will elaborate on the concept of epistemic fluency as “the capacity to understand, switch between and combine different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world” (Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2016)*. Carolyn Rosé will talk about the history of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era, why it was important to her to work towards that as the personal objective of her past presidency in ISLS. She will also talk about interdisciplinarity in her own research bringing learning sciences, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence together. The second part of the dialog will consist of a ‘questions & answers debate’ by the two speakers, with participation of the audience.
      
    Dr. Lina Markauskaite is an Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences and co-director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, the University of Sydney, Australia. She received a PhD in informatics (computer sciences) from the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (Lithuania), in 2000. Before arriving to Australia in 2004, Lina managed ICT implementation and educational change projects; and was the national coordinator of large-scale national and international studies on ICT in schools in Lithuania. Lina’s current research spans three related areas: 1) students and teachers’ ICT capabilities; 2) professional learning for complex professional knowledge work; and 3) ICT-enhanced interdisciplinary research methods. Lina’s research is integrative – it brings into a single framework research from psychology, neuroscience, design, organisational studies, anthropology, and science and technology studies (STS).
     
    Carolyn Rosé Dr. Carolyn Rosé is a Professor of Language Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research program is focused on better understanding the social and pragmatic nature of conversation, and using this understanding to build computational systems that can improve the efficacy of conversation between people, and between people and computers. She serves as Past President and Inaugural Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, Senior member of IEEE, Founding Chair of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era, Executive Editor of the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.
     

     
    * Markauskaite, L., & Goodyear, P. (2016). Epistemic fluency and professional education: innovation, knowledgeable action and actionable knowledge. Dordrecht: Springer
  • I will discuss 2 aspects of epistemic fluency that in my view most useful for TEL community
  • We live again in a period when ID is a hot topic, but overall it has is used very imprecisely
    So what do we mean by interdisciplinarity?

    Various versions of interdisciplinarity from Oxford ID handbook

    Some typical taxonomies:

    DISCIPLINARY ASPECTS
    Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity (Degree of integration)
    Within discipline vs Across disciplines (cognitive sciences, learning sciences, TEL itself)
    Close disciplines vs remote disciplines (sociology, law, philosophy, policy and computer sciences in addressing issues of ethical algorithms, data ownership and privacy in LA)
    Complementing vs hybridizing (Partial integration vs full integration)
    Methodological vs theoretical (Networked learning, LA)
    Instrumental vs critical (TEL and Sociology)

    SOCIAL ASPECTS
    Single man vs team science
    Shared/cooperative vs collaborative
    Collocated vs remote
    Knowledge focussed (Basic Mode 1) vs problem focussed (Applied Mode 2)
    Professional/endogenous vs Social/exogenous

    Two issues:
    1. Makin sure we are solving the same challenge when we talk about ID
    2 Issues can arise in any of these aspects and often come together as a ‘bundle’ making hard to untangle
  • TEL is a well known I field of study.
    Is it a discipline? Perhaps not.
    Does it want to be a discipline? The LS wants
  • http://classroom-aid.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/learningtheories-full.jpg

    Discipline a set of shared dispositions constructed over time about:
    objects of inquiry
    what counts as evidence (criteria)
    how to move from experience of a phenomenon to beliefs (speculations, hypothesis) to knowledge (methods for producing knowledge)
    what it is, intellectually and socially, a newcomer should accomplish (what expertise entails)


    Key idea: disciplines enable production of cumulative knowledge

    I think the main challenges for TEL are two:
    It is young and struggles articulating itself as a coherent intellectual field with it own core components
    The field itself is dynamic and disciplines with which it intersect change quickly: its boarders are very leaky


  • What kind of capability do people need for solving complex (ID) issues?

    Working on real-world problems usually requires the combination of different kinds of specialised and context-dependent knowledge, as well as different ways of knowing.

    People who are flexible and adept with respect to different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency.

    My particular focus is on ways of knowing that allow knowledge work get done.


    --
    Morrison, D., & Collins, A. (1996). Epistemic fluency and constructivist learning environments. In B. Wilson (Ed.), Constructivist learning environments (pp. 107-119). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
  • My particular interest is what allows people complex knowledge work done, and particularly those aspects that could be designed for, learnt, scaffolded, etc

    Fields – domains of practical activity such as TEL – do not do knowledge work in a conceptual and empirical vacuum, in fact they construct in infrastructures for doing such work, which people in the field need to learn to connect. It is usually invisible, when functions well, but critical for existence of the fields and particularly cumulative work within them
    Part of my work was trying to understand how these infrastructures look like.

    Epistemic infrastructure – basic material, symbolic and organizational structures – including tools, organising ideas and shared arrangements – that underpin and provide the core for the broadly distributed and diverse knowledge practices of a profession.

    2. Different disciplines and professions draw on different kinds of knowledge, but they also engage with different ways of knowing. E.g. The way technology designer thinks about a well deigned MOOC platform and does this job is different from the way teacher may think about it or institutional manager (quality of software code vs social and pedagogical aspects, vs easy administration)

    Functional epistemic games – patterns of inquiry which contribute to the way participants generate (situated) knowledge that informs their action. My particular focus was to understand those games

    Images from Pexel https://www.pexels.com/search/infrastructure%20%20telecommunication%20/

  • Key points :
    Conceptual knowledge is not only what we need to master
    Practical methods and tools that allow to create knowledge is important, praxeology not less important
    We can’t ignore social (codes) and information infrastructure – that allow to build cumulative knowledge if the field doesn't’t have it it suffers
    Most importantly boundary infrastructure, methods, tools, etc that allow to work in the boarders: if its important it has to be created and maintained (AI & Ethics, LA and education)
  • As a part of our study we tried to create a taxonomy of professional epistemic games (just to identify main kinds).
    See if it is possible and productive to think about prof learning in this way.
    What we got, is clearly shows that prof games go far beyond formal, what became very obvious that if we think about prof education in this way we could be much more articulated in what we want students to master. (Trans-professional, translational games)

    Main classes of epistemic games
    Propositional games
    Contribute to professional knowledge base
    Constructing a taxonomy of a disease, nursing “best practice” guidelines

    Situated problem-solving games
    Solve specific professional problems
    Creating a lesson plan, a pharmacy layout

    Meta-professional discourse games
    Evaluate professional products and actions
    Evaluating a teaching resource, a lesson plan

    Trans-professional discourse games
    Solve jointly a shared problem on the intersection of several professional fields
    Mastering discourse for communicating with a doctor

    Translational public discourse games
    Get information for decisions, communicate outcomes and/or take joint action
    Mastering communication strategies for dispensing medications

    “Weaving” games
    Integrate problem-solving with discourse games and embodied action
    Administering reading proficiency test.
    Interviewing a patient in home environment





  • ding infrastructures is important but remembering they are social, technical and material simultaneously

    Learning infrastructure:
    Journals
    Conferences
    Webinars like this are excellent examples

    But also learning on epistemic boundaries: how to make knowledge available for others
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