KCA: Are We a Community That Collaborates?


This question  looks at the KF database from the perspective of the class as a whole. Can we say about the class that collaboration is taking place and involves most students? If so, we would expect most students to have an “audience” for their notes—a reasonably large group that has read some of their notes. We can ask similar questions about other types of interactions, such as note reading. And we can ask the question from two perspectives. For example, are my notes read by many students, or am I reading the notes of many students?

Sample Results

build-on whole class chart

Figure 1


The pie chart in Figure 1 (left) shows results for a class of 38 students for receiving build-on notes. The minimum number of students in the group was set to 5 and the minimum number of build-on notes to 1. The pie chart shows that about half of the students (53%) can say that they received at least one build-on note from at least 5 different students.

select group bar graph

Figure 2


The bar graph in Figure 2 (right) focuses on just this 53% (20 students) and shows exactly, for each of them, how many students have built onto their notes. We see that some students received build-on notes from quite a few different students. TKP A106 received build-on notes from 20 students!



The bar graph in Figure 3 (below) shows the “audience” for the student who was logged onto the the KCA: TKP A101. We could already see in Figure 2 that this student received build-on notes from 6 students; now we see that TKP A101 received one build-on from each of those students, and from which students.

single user graph

Figure 3







Using the Results to Improve Knowledge Building

You and your class need to evaluate such results in light of your experience in Knowledge Forum and other information. You could discuss questions such as the following:

  • 53% of students have an audience of at least 5 peers; the remaining 47% students are thus receiving build-ons from fewer students. Is it good enough? Can we really say that in this community knowledge is democratic?
  • How do I compare with the rest of the community? Am I getting build-on notes from about the same number of students than most other students? Less? More? Does it matter?
  • What is the purpose of interacting in KF? How can we improve things without getting a lot of meaningless build-on notes?