KBTN | Professional Development Network for Knowledge Building in Schools

Related Projects

Knowledge Building Exchange (KBE)

The Knowledge Building Exchange (KBE) is an interactive web portal designed to facilitate the advancement of knowledge building, an educational model that helps students learn what a community needs to accomplish to create new knowledge.

The goal of the site is to put research findings and resources for knowledge building directly in the hands of teachers and students, and to support ongoing classroom work. It includes a Google custom search engine that searches the websites of known research groups and institutions that work on knowledge building.


Formative Assessment of Knowledge Building

(PI: Dr. Jan van Aalst)

Hong Kong is implementing a new secondary school (NSS) curriculum which involves increased emphasis on: (a) learning how to learn; (b) assessment that occurs while learning is still in progress (“formative assessment”), aimed at improving learning; and student-led collaborative inquiry. This study focuses on one aspect of the NSS, the need to support collaborative inquiry projects. The main goal of the study is to develop and study classroom practices which make better use of online discussions than is currently the case, with a view to improving what students learn from their inquiries. The specific context of the study is knowledge building, which is a model that describes how knowledge is created in scientific communities.

A key problem with students’ online discussions is that they are too short and superficial. One rarely sees discussions in which students not only post ideas but also work with the ideas that already have been posted to identify connections, review progress, and set goals. Besides contributing ideas it is necessary fort the class to develop ideas, integrate them, to reflect on what it being learned and to consider how the discourse can be improved to produce better learning. The project will address this problem by providing students with data about their online discussions that can be the basis of such reflection and planning. We hope that the classroom dialogues based on the formative assessments will help students develop more sophisticated views of how online discussion environments can be used to support collaborative inquiry beyond the commonly found knowledge sharing mode of discussion.

The objectives are:

  • develop practical assessments which students can use to self-assess and reflect on their work in online discussion forums.
  • understand how students and their teacher use these assessments to improve the learning outcomes of collaborative inquiry projects are used to improve learning

We will develop computer scripts which retrieve and analyze data from online discussions, and then design, test, and validate formative assessments based on these. An example of such a formative assessment would be a graphical display showing how specific ideas are being taken up by the community. The formative assessments will then be used by students and their teacher to examine specific features of their online work. The focus of the project is to study the impact of these formative assessments on classroom activities. We hope the discussions students will have about their own online work will help them develop more sophisticated views about how online work can support collaborative inquiry and that it will lead to better integration of online work with classroom learning.

The main implication of the project is to show how teachers can implement formative assessment approaches and how students can be agents of their own learning if they have access to quality data about their learning process, and data from online discussions can be used to create a closer link between these and classroom activities. The development of formative assessments that can be used to improve online discussions is a welcome addition to education research as online discussions are used frequently but with limited success.

About the Dissemination Seminar

In recent years, teachers have been facing challenges of curriculum change and innovation in schools. To help teachers face these challenges, the EDB-funded project, Professional Development Network for Knowledge Building in Schools developed a teacher network to support and empower teachers to use knowledge building as a pedagogical approach and ICT-enhanced learning.

In the past few years, the Centre for Information Technology in Education of the University of Hong Kong has succeeded in supporting teachers implementing the knowledge building approach. Dramatic growth in the teacher network was observed since this project started in September 2006.

This seminar has been arranged for teachers to share successful experiences and strategies of teacher collaboration in implementing knowledge building within and across schools locally and internationally.

This Dissemination Seminar is co-organized by the Centre for Information Technology in Education (CITE) and the Education Bureau of HKSAR.

For inquiries, please contact Ms Amy Kwok at 2241-5892 or e-mail kbtn-info@cite.hku.hk

Download the event poster here

Program Rundown

  • 08:45 Registration
  • 09:00 Welcoming Remarks

    Prof. Shirley J. GRUNDY, Dean, Faculty of Education, HKU

  • 09:05 Keynote Speech

    Mr. TAI Hay Lap, Principal, Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

  • 09:35 Introduction to Knowledge Building Approach and Knowledge Building Teacher Network (KBTN)

    Dr. Carol CHAN, Faculty of Education, HKU

  • 09:55 Demonstration of Knowledge Forum discussion databases (by KLA)

    EDB Seconded Teachers of the Knowledge Building Teacher Network (KBTN)

  • 10:50 Break
  • 11:05 Experience Sharing - by Mentors, Teachers, and Students

    Knowledge Building Teacher Network (KBTN)

  • 12:25 Concluding Remarks and Questions & Answers

    Prof. Nancy LAW, Director, CITE, Faculty of Education HKU


The event has been posted on EDB Training Calendar. If you are a school principal or school teacher, please register through the EDB Training Calendar (Course ID of the event: EI0020070225).

For participants who are NOT teachers/principals, please register online at the CITE event page.

The deadline for online registration is 20 November 2007.

For inquiries, please contact Ms Amy Kwok at 2241-5892 or e-mail kbtn-info@cite.hku.hk

Contact Us

CITE Project
Centre for Information Technology in Education, The Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong

funded by

Education Bureau

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region