Academic journal article Journal of Interactive Learning Research

Collaborative Innovation as a Process for Cognitive Development

Academic journal article Journal of Interactive Learning Research

Collaborative Innovation as a Process for Cognitive Development

Article excerpt

In this article we propose a methodology for collaborative innovation, which leads to cognitive development. Motivation for innovation could be an effective means for efficient and meaningful learning. Meaningful learning contributes to cognitive development. Therefore, in professional education the aim is to maintain the continuous cognitive development through lifelong learning.

Distributed cognition of people and artifacts are integrated during the process of collaborative innovation. This, in turn, enriches the individuals' cognition, metacognitive abilities, techniques of interpersonal communication, and reflective thinking skills. A mechanism for the process of innovation is discussed to identify the possible stages of interaction for collaboration. The guidelines for interaction are identified to develop an intelligent support system. This support system guides participants in carrying out innovative activities. Based on participants' personal portfolios, the network can be used to perform an intelligent compatibility search on the World Wide Web (Web) for locating companions for collaboration. The same tool can also be incorporated for other ontological searches in connection with the process of innovation such as suggesting possible problems to be explored and providing relevant information on available resources.

In this methodology, the main intention is to continue the cognitive development process where the innovative activities are used to sustain the motivation of the learner. Any other outcome from these innovative activities were considered incidental. In future work, we intend to develop a measure for assessing cognitive changes for providing periodic feedback to participants about their progress. An intelligent tool would be developed for periodic assessment and reporting cognitive changes to the participants to help in sustaining their motivation.

We started with exploring the various ways of using the Web for educational purposes. In this particular piece of research, we used the Internet as a virtual communication channel for lifelong learning. The Internet provided us with a huge database of available information, which could be shared between "n" numbers of people, and the knowledge space is available for any one person at any given time.

In the past decade, information science researchers have started to develop technology that can support a group collaboration process. Integrated collaborative research systems (ICRS) typically support activities related to a research cycle: assembling information from a wide variety of sources, organizing and manipulating that information, analyze the information, and synthesize new information. The projects involved may cover extended time periods and employ multiple researchers who collaborate on a series of related topics. Systematic and relevant information collection, indexing, and management is crucial to the success of research collaboration.

In this article, our purpose is to develop a rational basis of expected benefits from collaborative innovation for achieving cognitive development. Our prpose is also to identify the required tools and techniques to support such collaborative activities across the boundary of academic specialization. The system at which we are aiming is meant for people with interest in similar subjects and topics, but with different major(s) or specialization(s). Therefore, using the Internet, the participants can communicate, share, and collaborate through various, new forms of web-based activities.

We claim that collaborative innovations lead to cognitive development. In support, we introduce the three theories of guided learning as discussed by Brown and Palincsar (1989): zone of proximal development, adapted from Vygotsky's theory; expert scaffolding, commonly associated with Wood and Bruner; and Socratic dialogues.

The learning theories underlying the related notions of a zone of proximal development, expert scaffolding, and Socratic dialogues all rely heavily upon the mechanism of internalization to fuel individual conceptual development. …

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