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Independent Research Page

Design Team

  • Topic: Designing a device to access wireless internet remotely
  • Jarret Lavallee
  • Corey Davis

Learning Team

  • Topic: Learning SketchUp
  • John Bacus
  • Jon Dormody
  • Brian Brown

Collaboration Team

  • Topic: Established Web 2.0 Technologies Effectively Encouraging Active Collaboration
  • Andy Hoffner
  • Brian Sax
  • Jason Held

Collaboration Team-2

  • Topic: Real Time Software vs. Non-Real Time Software
  • Tyler Brown
  • David Musson
  • Joe Zeles
  • Jessica Speir

Integration Team

  • Topic: Designing Environments for Brainstorming
  • Yingdan Huang
  • Peng Michael Shao
  • Praful Mangalath
  • Chen-Chung Liu

remark: a nicer formatted Word file with this information is at: Ind-res-guidelines-2007.doc

Gerhard Fischer and Hal Eden: "Design, Learning, and Collaboration" — Spring Semester 2007

Independent Research Guidelines

Swiki Location: Independent Research


date objective
2/7 articulate your interest; discuss collaboration
2/21 one page statement for each group
3/7 first 1-3 page progress report
3/21 second 1-3 page progress report
4/2 presentations and discussion in class
4/23 3-5 page final report; post everything in the Swiki; 10:00am
4/23 and 4/25 class presentation; each team will have 1/2 of class session (i.e. approx 35 minutes)


  1. opportunity to engage in self-directed learning in the context of an independent research exploration
    1. this work is more conceptual than the course project and it is intended to complement the experience of the course project
    2. it can be related to the course project, but it does not have to be!

  1. please form four teams (each approximately with the same number of participants) focused respectively on: design, learning, collaboration, and on the interrelationship between the three activities. These are broad topics and you should define a focus for your investigation by finding and defining more specific topics in your area of investigation. Possible themes for more specific research topics are:
    1. individual and social creativity
    2. meta-design
    3. end-user development
    4. distributed intelligence
    5. Web 2.0 technologies
    6. soft skills in computer science education……………………………..

  1. some suggestions:
    1. for your information gathering process use materials from the course, books, articles, opinion pieces, the WWW,
    2. interview people (e.g., faculty members, PhD students, friends, colleagues at work, ..) about their insights and perspectives

  1. interaction between teams: the different teams should interact with each other and see how their findings and work processes can profit from each other

Some Suggested References

the references below can help you to get you started — but you can also use as starting points some of the papers that we have discussed in class! You do not have to limit yourselves to these resources.


  • Norman, D. A. (1993) Things That Make Us Smart, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, MA.
  • National-Research-Council (2003) Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.


  • Bruner, J. (1996) The Culture of Education, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Gardner, H. (1991) The Unschooled Mind, Basic Books, New York.


  • Bennis, W. & Biederman, P. W. (1997) Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA.
  • Salomon, G. (Ed.) (1993) Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


  • Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2000) The Social Life of Information, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
  • Florida, R. (2002) The Rise of the Creative Class and How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Basic Books, New York, NY.

remark from Gerhard: if groups what to take a look at these books: I have them and you can borrow them for some time


  1. your contribution to this major aspect of the course will be assessed as follows:
    1. your work material submitted, including
      1. your "mastering" of the theme chosen by you
      2. your originality (i.e., just copying phrases from different sources will not do)
    2. your presentation in class
  2. your work will be evaluated as a team effort — so hopefully all team members will act as "good contributors" to the collaborative effort!

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