University of Oulu

van Heijst, H., de Jong, F.P.C.M., van Aalst, J. et al. Socio-cognitive openness in online knowledge building discourse: does openness keep conversations going?. Intern. J. Comput.-Support. Collab. Learn 14, 165–184 (2019).

Socio-cognitive openness in online knowledge building discourse : does openness keep conversations going?

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Author: van Heijst, Hennie1; de Jong, Frank P. C. M.1,2; van Aalst, Jan3;
Organizations: 1Aeres University of Applied Sciences, Mansholtlaan 18, P.O. Box 80, 6700, AB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands
3Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
4Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands
5University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-06


This study describes the socio-cognitive dynamics of collaborative online knowledge-building discourse among Dutch Master of Education students from the perspective of openness. A socio-cognitive openness framework consisting of four social and four cognitive components was used to analyze contributions to online collective knowledge building processes in two Knowledge Forum® databases. Analysis revealed that the contributions express a moderate level of openness, with higher social than cognitive openness. Three cognitive indicators of openness were positively associated with follow-up, while the social indicators of openness appeared to have no bearings on follow-up. Findings also suggested that teachers’ contributions were more social in nature and had less follow-up compared to students’ contributions. From the perspective of openness, the discourse acts of building knowledge and expressing uncertainty appear to be key in keeping knowledge building discourse going, in particular through linking new knowledge claims to previous claims and simultaneously inviting others to refine the contributed claim.

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Series: International journal of computer-supported collaborative learning
ISSN: 1556-1607
ISSN-E: 1556-1615
ISSN-L: 1556-1607
Volume: 14
Pages: 165 - 184
DOI: 10.1007/s11412-019-09303-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This study was supported by a PhD-grant for teacher-researchers by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.