Increasing Capacity for Knowledge Creation
Christian Robertson, Marlene Scardamalia, Maria Chuy, Chris Teplovs, and Monica Resendes, IKIT, OISE/University of Toronto, Canada
This paper explores the role education might play in increasing students’ capacity for knowledge creation, with emphasis on 21st century competencies and assessment. Knowledge creation and innovation have risen to high prominence given pressing social and economic concerns. Nations across the world, including those performing well on current-day assessments, are engaged in reforms aimed at preparing citizens for Knowledge Age work. New forms of engagement and assessment are required, to both drive and evaluate change. Knowledge Building pedagogy is designed to enculturate students into a knowledge-creating culture, and Knowledge Forum technology is designed to provide a supportive context for knowledge creation.
Knowledge Building pedagogy is described in relation to 21st century competencies and assessment. The paper starts with an overview of formative assessments used in a broad array of educational contexts, then focuses on assessment in three different educational models (a project-based model, an open learning initiative, and Knowledge Building). We discuss the technological and methodological implications of these different models and explore their strengths and limits in light of formative and summative assessments of 21st century competencies. Our case study analyses are designed to provide insight into the following questions: Can formative assessments be used to increase the relevance of different educational models to 21st century needs? What can formative assessment do to improve the relevance of each model? What expectations might we have for yearly improvement in practice? What might the corresponding improvement in student outcomes be? How can we increase the chances that use of formative assessments will lead to improvements measured by summative or large-scale international assessments?