Designing For Cognitive Communication: Epistemic Fidelity Or Mediating Collaborating Inquiry


Roschelle, J. (1996). Designing for cognitive communication: Epistemic fidelity or mediating collaborating inquiry. In D. L. Day & D. K. Kovacs (Eds.), Computers, Communication & Mental Models (pp. 13-25). London: Taylor & Francis.


This article examines the generalization of the mental model principle to communication of a system of concepts across worldviews. I use an example of an educational simulation designed to teach physics concepts to examine such communication and to illustrate two design perspectives.

Gaps between worldviews prevent students from interpreting displays literally, and thus limit the extent to which communication can be achieved by representing knowledge accurately. Hence, rather than merely representing mental models accurately, designers must focus on supporting communicative practices. I suggest four specific design principles within a mediated collaborative inquiry perspective.

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