This research article explores the potential of Slack channels as a social platform for collaborative learning and knowledge construction in the context of open data exploration. Open data has gained traction as a valuable resource for research and educational purposes, fostering inquiry-based learning and critical thinking skills. However, the integration of open data into educational settings often presents challenges, especially for learners with limited technical expertise or prior experience with data manipulation. This study aims to investigate the potential of using Slack channels as a social learning environment to support learners in developing naive representations of open data.
Naive representations refer to initial mental models or superficial understandings of a complex concept or dataset. By leveraging the social interaction and communication features of Slack, learners can engage in collaborative sensemaking processes, share their naive representations, and receive feedback and support from peers and instructors. This research will shed light on how social interaction and collaborative discussions within Slack channels can lead to the refinement and evolution of naive representations of open data.
The research will be conducted in a higher education context, involving undergraduate students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. The study will comprise of multiple data collection methods, including pre and post-surveys, observation of Slack discussions, and analysis of naive representations. These methods will help identify patterns of social interaction and examine how these interactions contribute to the development and refinement of naive representations.
The findings of this research will contribute to the existing literature on collaborative learning, open data exploration, and the role of social platforms in supporting learning processes. Furthermore, this study has implications for educators and instructional designers seeking to integrate open data and promote collaborative learning in their classrooms. By understanding the potential of Slack channels as a social learning environment, educators can create supportive and engaging learning experiences that enhance students’ data literacy skills and promote deeper understanding of open data.
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