Supporting Dialectical Learning With Piazza

John Carroll Headshot

COIL is proud to have supported the Supporting Dialectical Learning With Piazza project through our Research Initiation Grant Program.


Inspired by the challenge of more explicitly facilitating dialectical learning, we propose to implement an example of dialectical constructivist pedagogy in three Penn State courses, a freshman seminar, an upper division major elective, and a Ph.D. core course. We will adapt the functionality of Piazza, a free wiki-style question-answer pedagogical infrastructure (, to provide students with engaging and authentic learning activities in which they will collaboratively identify, articulate and successively refine thesis-antithesis propositional pairs to critically analyze issues in information sciences and technology. We will assess the pedagogical model, the course implementations, and the technology support. We will report our results to the learning sciences, computer-supported collaborative learning, and information science academic communities, and we will create a website documenting our project and providing practical support for faculty from Penn State and elsewhere who might wish to adopt and develop our model. We will use this project as the foundation for an NSF proposal. This project builds upon an established NSF-supported research program of supporting constructivist learning activities with information technology, and includes Piazza as a partner.


  • John M. Carroll, Edward M. Frymoyer Professor, College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Patrick C. Shih, Research Associate, College of Information Sciences and Technology


Headshot of John Carroll
John M. Carroll
Edward M. Frymoyer Professor
307H IST Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-2476


  1. Jeff Rankinen

    Can you post your project website? Thanks!


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