Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2015 Archive

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Shared epistemic agency and its emergence in undergraduate students` collaborative learning

4 March 2015

Join us for this Research on Learning and Educational Innovation seminar by Dr Crina Damsa.

This event is the first this year of the “Research on Learning and Educational Innovation: the Wednesday Seminars”, organised jointly by CoCo and STL at the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, and hosted on Wednesdays during semester in Room 612 of the Education Building.

In this seminar, Dr Damsa will attempt to clarify the notion of shared epistemic agency and to illustrate how it is expressed and achieved by undergraduate students in the context of learning through collaborative knowledge construction. Building on works from learning sciences, educational psychology and sociology, shared epistemic agency is defined as a capacity that enables groups to carry out joint activities of knowledge construction that lead to a shared outcome. Two studies examining group projects learning activities in undergraduate courses in teacher education and computer engineering are used to illustrate how it is expressed and analysed in educational settings.

The discussion foregrounds that agency is not something given and should not be taken for granted; it emerges and is achieved in and through the unfolding (co-)construction processes and meaningful participation in activities. In addition, it highlights that creating the premises for the emergence of shared epistemic agency is an effort that can be assigned both to individuals and groups, but also to how the (pedagogical, structural) context facilitates this process.

This seminar will be available live online at

Event details

  • When: 11am–12.30pm
  • Where: Education Building A35
    Room 612

  • Cost: Free

  • Contact: Sadhbh Warren

    T: +61 2 9351 2612


  • More info: Arrive at 10.45am for refreshments

  • Speaker: Dr Crina Damsa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education, University of Oslo (UiO), where she is also a member of the teaching staff in the Higher Education master program. Dr Damsa is an active member of the Learning Sciences community and of the European Association for Research of Learning and Instruction. She has an undergraduate degree in language and literature from Romania, a MSc in Educational Design and Technology from Netherlands and a PhD in Educational Sciences from the University of Oslo.

    Dr Damsa has taken part in research projects within national and European contexts, which examined learning and instruction in higher education and developed new technologies aimed at supporting collaborative learning and work. Her doctoral thesis focused on learning in collaborative project groups in undergraduate education, and related pedagogies and technologies.

    Dr Damsa is involved in two projects that examine enquiry-based learning in computer engineering and teacher education, and the quality of higher education in Norway. These projects focus on analysing the way students engage in domain-specific knowledge practices in the context of collaborative projects; and how they learn by developing knowledge artefacts and using knowledge resources typical to the domain. Findings from these ongoing projects are used to fuel the construction of a future research agenda focused on understanding learning as active participation in knowledge activities and pedagogies that support such learning.

Shared epistemic agency and its emergence in undergraduate students` collaborative learning

Where Education Building A35
Room 612


4 March 2015

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