Developing collective decision-making through future learning environments

Gillian H. Roehrig, David Groos, S. Selcen Guzey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the science and technology-driven twenty-first century, we have the tools and knowledge to collaboratively solve increasingly complex problems. However, do we have sufficient people with the capacity to do this? To develop this citizenry, recent educational approaches authentically engage students in collaboratively building knowledge, re-imaging students as active members of a community of novice scientists. Information and communication technology tools are essential in this process. For example, with the open source web software, Future Learning Environment 4 (FLE4) students take ownership for their community’s knowledge production as they seek to answer scientific questions. By reaching out to rich information sources (web, books, teacher, each other, etc.), students develop, debate, and improve theories. FLE4’s scaffolding enables this sophisticated classroom discourse. Simultaneously, the online dialog provides teachers with rich and authentic data to incrementally assess student learning. Additionally, assessing these student discourses allows teachers to evaluate their class’ collaborative skills and science abilities, which are impossible to assess through standardized assessments. This chapter provides a pedagogical model that helps teachers grow knowledge-building communities, a software program that supports this instructional model, and possible investigative strategies for assessing learning, from the level of diverse individuals up to the community level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameContemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education
ISSN (Print)1878-0482
ISSN (Electronic)1878-0784

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


  • Knowledge Building
  • Knowledge Forum
  • Knowledge Type
  • Novice Scientist
  • Technology Integration

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