Theses Doctoral

Bridging Constructionism & Metacognition: Productive Artifact Documentation for Elementary School Maker Education

Chan, Monica Miaoxia

My dissertation is a qualitative design-based research study that explores Singaporean elementary school students’ documentation and reflection practices in a maker learning environment. In this work, I build upon literature from Constructionism, Metacognition, and formative assessment methods.

I investigate the following research questions regarding student-driven documentation of maker processes:

1. How might artifact documentation and organization, as a mode of formative assessment, provide new insights to students and teachers in complex making/construction processes?
2. How could artifact documentation embedded in a collaborative tool contribute to students' identification and reflection of new knowledge gained during their making process?

Over the course of two and a half years, I developed prototypes of the CoCreator App, informed by constructionist pedagogy and metacognitive practices. Then, I implemented the CoCreator App prototypes in two schools and an afterschool makerspace in Singapore, where students and teachers used it as their technology-facilitated process for documentation. Through analysis of students’ and teachers’ interviews, observations and field notes of classroom sessions, I reveal opportunities for thoughtful design of documentation tools that advance and challenge the theoretical underpinnings of Constructionism and Metacognition, and cater to elementary school students’ learning and reflection.

My design recommendations include: multimodal choices of documentation, integration with students’ routines and workflows, organization of artifacts to achieve a balance between multimodality and integration with routines. Finally, I end with a note about the essential role that teachers play in engaging with students’ artifacts and nurturing a culture of documentation in the classroom, to inch closer to helping students develop intrinsic motivation towards student-driven formative assessment.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Holbert, Nathan R.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2022