Worked Examples: Mission

Today, scholars interested in new media and learning are working from the perspectives of different disciplines to construct a new and interdisciplinary endeavor. This work is devoted to how interactive multimedia can enhance learning within and outside of schools. These scholars are presenting important new ideas about learning and literacy in the modern world, but each of these ideas stems from a different school: each is embedded in different theories, approaches, and disciplinary languages. To further complicate this endeavor, the stories being told among new media scholars transpire in multi-modal formats and by collaborative processes more sophisticated and powerful than the scholarly outlets available for sharing findings. Further, these ideas find implementation in different sorts of specific educational interventions, both in and out of schools, in contexts meant to serve as “plausibility proofs” for the ideas. To draw these diverse endeavors together to constitute a new collection of scholarship, a coherent enterprise, we have created a new online community space where members can produce, share, and critique each others’ worked examples.

In our view, a worked example is a form of invitational scholarship that leverages purposively selected instances and multiple modes of discourse (e.g., videos, pictures, expositions, games, quotes, walkthroughs, etc.) to establish an invitation, in response to which readers can engage theoretical claims along with contextual particulars that reflexively illuminate the theory. We believe that scholarly publication must transcend the custom of printed texts published at particular intervals by central authorities, and also include contributions that involve multimedia, that are interactive, and that are invitational. In a worked example, an expert provides a “meta” take, narrating an instance of a phenomenon in terms of mechanism and process as well as providing contextual framing, to illuminate theoretical conjectures along with the body of work from which the conjecture evolved and takes on meaning. The presentation serves as a contextual instantiation of a theoretical conjecture and, by scaffolding discussion among peers around the example, invites verification or refutation of the conjecture.

The newly established site allows scholars to build worked examples and share insights and findings in ways that afford multimedia representation, ongoing discussion, evolving manifestations, and distributed meaning making. This site is intended to be community-owned, with members ratings and comments determining which contributions are most useful and should be promoted to the top. Additionally, members can submit contributions for formal review, at which point site curators will submit the worked example to formal review. Member status can grow either through community reviews or through commenting and contributing on the creations of other members.

This site was created by Sasha Barab, Shahrier Akram and Adam Ingram-Goble in support of our collective mission. It is our mission to provide scholars a space for sharing illuminative stories that invite the reader into the makings and workings of one's conjectures, but do so in a manner that enforces rigor and scholarly dialogue. Here, we provide the technologies for representing and commenting each other’s work. To learn more about worked examples (read more).