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Community Inquiry Labs. Chip Bruce Library & Information Science U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign VMT Project CSCL Workshop, Drexel University , June 9-11 , 2004. Research Questions. What theory adequately accounts for the complexity and diversity of (distributed) collective practice?

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community inquiry labs
Community Inquiry Labs
  • Chip Bruce
  • Library & Information Science
  • U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • VMT Project CSCL Workshop, Drexel University, June 9-11, 2004
research questions
Research Questions
  • What theory adequately accounts for the complexity and diversity of (distributed) collective practice?
  • What tools are needed to mediate work on concrete tasks?
  • What is the most effective process for developing shared capacity in the form of knowledge, skills, & tools?
  • How do actual communities work to address their problems?
1 pragmatism
(1) Pragmatism
  • “the desire to make the entire social organism democratic, to extend democracy beyond its political expression,” Jane Addams
  • “only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same in the future,” John Dewey
  • “A community of action has to work towards ...(i) transforming an external situation...and (ii)allowing its members to develop mutual knowledge and identities,” Manuel Zacklad
2 community inquiry labs
(2) Community Inquiry Labs

A place where members of a community come together to develop shared capacity and work on common problems.

Community – support for collaborative activity and for creating knowledge that is connected to people's values, history, and lived experiences

Inquiry – support for open-ended, democratic, participatory engagement

Laboratory – a space and resources to bring theory and action together in an experimental and critical manner

3 development process
(3) Development Process
  • “improve the improvement process,” Doug Engelbart
  • “participatory design requires a shared form of life,” Pelle Ehn
  • Open participation in iLabs design, creation, membership, & use
  • Accessible for low-end users => Open-source, W3C, CSS, PHP/MySQL
  • Modifiable--brick selection, customization, development
  • Self-documenting
  • Use ==> Build ==> Design
4 paseo boricua
(4) Paseo Boricua
  • Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood
  • Galvanizes neighborhood residents around community projects
  • Addresses critical issues: gang violence, AIDS, social and environmental justice, literacy, and economic development
lis 391 literacy in the information age course
LIS 391: Literacy in the Information Age Course
  • Website maker <>
  • Bulletin board (phpBB)
  • Syllabus tool
  • Signup sheet (readings, class notes, computer help)
  • Inquiry units
  • Blog
  • Timeline
gk 12 graduate teaching fellows in k 12 education
GK-12: Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education
  • graduate students collaborate with faculty and K-12 teachers to integrate computer-based modeling and scientific visualization into education
ethnography of the university
Ethnography of the University
  • sponsors undergraduate research on the university and archives it in web-accessible form
  • functions as a learning group for students, staff, and faculty interested in what it means to conduct research on universities as institutions