The "Knowledge Society Sandbox” is a digital learning environment for secondary school students that my team and I have developed in collaboration with the Israeli Center for Educational Technology (CET). The Sandbox is available online to all public secondary schools in Israel. The aim of the Sandbox is to promote students’ abilities to critically construct knowledge from multiple information sources and to foster their epistemic understandings of knowledge construction and evaluation.
The design of the Sandbox learning environment is based on current theoretical models of multiple document comprehension (Braasch & Bråten, 2017; Britt, Rouet, & Braasch, 2013; Rouet & Britt, 2011) and supports students through several phases of knowledge construction: understanding the task and its requirements, evaluating and selecting information sources, analyzing the information sources, integrating information, writing an integrative essay, and evaluating and revising this essay.
The Sandbox includes three main components:
1. A collection of tasks that require evaluation, analysis, and integration of multiple information sources. Each includes a task statement and a set of information sources chosen to represent diverse viewpoints, genres, credibility, quality, and more. Students and teachers can add and remove information sources and create their own tasks.
2. Cognitive epistemic scaffolds that support knowledge construction processes. These scaffolds help students evaluate the credibility and relevance of the information sources, identify their claims and supporting reasons, map the network of links among sources and claims, and write based on multiple information sources.
3. Metacognitive epistemic scaffolds that promote regulation and understanding of knowledge construction and evaluation. These scaffolds currently include metacognitive monitoring and evaluation prompts and short explanations about relevant epistemic concepts (e.g., “credibility”).
Click here to try out the Sandbox. It is currently available in Hebrew and Arabic.
Papers about the "Knowledge Society Sandbox"
Barzilai, S., Tal-Savir, D., Abed, F., Mor-Hagani, S., & Zohar, A. R. (2021). Mapping multiple documents: From constructing multiple document models to argumentative writing. Reading and Writing.
This paper describes how students use the document map to construct models of multiple scientific documents, how mapping is related to subsequent document-based argumentative writing, and how students grasp the aims of document mapping.
Barzilai, S., Mor-Hagani, S., Zohar, A. R., Shlomi-Elooz, T., & Ben-Yishai, R. (2020). Making sources visible: Promoting multiple document literacy with digital epistemic scaffolds. Computers & Education, 157, 103980.
In this paper, we describe a mixed-method study that examined the contribution of the Sandbox to students' evaluation and integration performance in the history domain.
Barzilai, S. & Chinn, C. A. (2019). Epistemic thinking in a networked society: Contemporary challenges and educational responses. In Y. Kali, A. Baram-Tsabari, & A. M. Schejter (Eds.), Learning in a Networked Society: Spontaneous and Designed Technology Enhanced Learning Communities. Springer.
This paper describes the theoretical rationale and design of the Sandbox.
Barzilai, S., Tal-Savir, D., Abed, F., Mor-Hagani, S., & Zohar, A. R. (2021). Scaffolding multiple document literacy: Relationships between document mapping and argumentative writing. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse (ST&D).
Barzilai, S., Zohar, A. R., Mor-Hagani, S., Shlomi-Elooz, T. & Ben-Yishai, R. (2019). Scaffolding Inquiry with Multiple Documents: The Knowledge Society Sandbox. Paper presented at the 18th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), Aachen, Germany.
Barzilai, S., Zohar, A. R., Mor-Hagani, S., Shlomi-Elooz, T., & Ben-Yishai, R. (2019). Seeing the connection: Promoting learners’ intertextual integration competence with digital scaffolds. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.