PhD Thesis Defense Announcement: “Knowledge Places: Embedding Knowledge in the Space of the Classroom”

September 6th, 2019

Categories: Education, MS / PhD Thesis, User Groups, Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Students Working at Knowledge Place
Students Working at Knowledge Place


PhD Candidate: Anthony Perritano

Date: Friday, September 6th, 2019
Time: 10:30 am CT
Location: Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), Room 2068 ERF (Continuum)

Tom Moher (Chair)
Andrew Johnson
Chris Kanich
Joel Brown, Biology
James Slotta, University of Toronto
Yvonne Rogers, University College London

An important research question concerns the nature of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) methods and supports for improving students’ access to, application of, and general interactions with the community knowledge in a learning community approach. This thesis investigates a novel approach to supporting classroom learning communities through the use of embodied interaction and ambient visualizations. Specifically, community knowledge is embedded within the physical space of the classroom, with the aim of mediating opportunistic inter-group interactions, instigated through proximity and shared artifacts. This approach entails decomposing the community knowledge-base into a collection of independent thematic sub-stores, and then conceptually distributing those sub-stores to mapped, demarcated locations around the classroom, called “Knowledge Places.” This necessitates physical movement among and proximity to those places in order for students to contribute to or otherwise access their peers’ contributions to the emerging knowledge-base. This investigation was embedded within a larger NSF-funded study and was enacted over the course of a semester within a sixth-grade classroom as part of the regular life science curriculum (e.g., food webs, ecosystems).