Tech-Augmented Co-Creativity Lab (TACCL)

led by Dr. Jianwei Zhang at the University at Albany, State University of New York

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In a digitally connected and rapidly changing world, education needs to help students learn how to work together to solve complex problems and deal with future challenges. Many of the problems we face are new, ambiguous, and complex. The problems (e.g., COVID) themselves often evolve as we work on solutions, giving rise to new intertwined challenges. Our educational system is well-honed at passing along existing knowledge but not preparing students for a world of uncertainty. How can schools help students develop creative and collaborative capacities so they can work as knowledge producers to address future challenges? The Technology-Augmented Co-Creativity Lab (TaCCL), directed by Dr. Jianwei Zhang at the University at Albany-SUNY, explores new possibilities to engage students in collaborative and creative knowledge building across disciplinary areas, supported by new technology.

Our current work focuses on:

  • Pedagogical innovation to foster collaborative knowledge-building processes (e.g. knowledge-building discourse and metadiscourse, opportunistic collaboration, epistemic agency) that are essential to real-world knowledge-creating communities;
  • Social and technological infrastructure (e.g., open knowledge spaces) to support sustained collaboration and creative work with ideas across communities;
  • Learning analytics and intelligent feedback to trace idea progress and enhance creative inquiry and dialogue;
  • Teachers’ engagement in principle-based design and innovation to enable sustained knowledge building among their students.

Annual Research Highlights of the University at Albany (November 2015)

Research-Practice Connections

  • In April 2023, Dr. Jianwei Zhang was recognized with a Distinguished Public Engagement award from the University at Albany, SUNY.
2023 Public Engagement Awards
  • In Fall 2022, our research team started a new collaborative project with Tech Valley High School, a pioneer of 21st century learning: Build an Interdisciplinary Community for Authentic Research Experiences (I-CARE)
  • On June 13, 2021: Dr. Jianwei Zhang presented a webinar organized by the Global Science of Learning Education Network, showcasing an emergent design approach to Knowledge-Building inquiry. Watch it on Youtube [1]
  • May 13-20, 2019: A video was shared through the NSF STEM For All Video Showcase: Innovations in STEM Education. "Connecting Student-Driven Inquiry with Idea Thread Mapper" https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/presentations/1623
  • February 7, 2019: A professional development workshop hosted by at the Teacher Center in Albany on "Knowledge-Building Inquiry in Grade 5 Science: Connecting Student-Driven Inquiry with Idea Thread Mapper (ITM)." Three collaborating teachers from Guilderland Elementary School shared their innovative work to approach the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through Knowledge Building inquiry with technology support.
  • May 14-21, 2018: A video was shared through the NSF STEM For All Video Showcase:Transforming the Educational Landscape. Idea Thread Mapper. http://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentations/1256   
  • August, 2018: A Journal of Learning Sciences (JLS) Webinar was held to discuss our new JLS article: Co-Organizing the Collective Journey of Inquiry with Idea Thread Mapper. Four leading learning scientists offered valuable insights and comments. Dr. Katherine Bielaczyc (Clark University), Dr. Carol Chan (University of Hong Kong), Dr. Keith Sawyer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Dr. Chewlee Teo (National Institute of Education, Singapore). See the recording on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDajiY9U2lk
  • Oct 18 2017: Collaborating teachers and students from Slingerlands Elementary School presented their creative classroom work to Bethlehem Board of Education. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1hDjK3A9mY
  • May 2017: A video was shared through the NSF Video Showcase “Advancing STEM Learning For All: Research and Design for Impact,” Cross-Classroom Interaction for Sustained Inquiry. http://videohall.com/p/990
  • May 17-23, 2016: Our research project was spotlighted at the NSF Video Showcase event: “Advancing STEM Learning For All: Sharing Cutting Edge Work and Community Discourse” Connecting Idea Threads for Sustained Inquiry and Discourse:  http://videohall.com/p/770
  • Feb 2016: Our collaborating school created a video to document student reflection on their inquiry-based science. Thank you teachers and students for your amazing work in this collaborative research.