Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 218 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Jianwei Zhang

Committee Members

Reza Feyzi-Behnagh, Alandeom Oliveira


Knowledge Building, Knowledge Building Analytics, Learning Analytics, Reflective Noticing, Responsive Scaffolding, Teacher Reflection, Science, Knowledge, Theory of, Concepts, Communication in education, Group work in education

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Technology


A need for current science education has emerged in enhancing students’ deep involvement in scientific practices in core disciplines. Students are encouraged to improve crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas through authentic science practice through constructing theories about the real world, generating questions, conducting investigations, revising theories, and communicating and collaborating. A new education model addresses these needs by transforming classrooms into collaborative knowledge building communities. However, there are challenges confronting the education system: (a) helping students build high responsibility to contribute to their collaborative inquiry progress and (b) supporting teachers to act as co-learners. To address these challenges, this dissertation explores how teachers engage in and envision student-driven collaborative inquiry moves with analytics support. Designed based on Knowledge Building (KB) pedagogy, the present dissertation investigates teachers’ reflective engagement in and responsive scaffolding of students’ knowledge building in communities supported by learning analytics. The entire dissertation consists of three studies—a review paper and two-year design-based research (Study 1 and Study 2). The first paper reviews literature on teacher noticing and analytics support in KB pedagogy. Then, the two-year design-based research examines teachers’ reflective noticing and responsive scaffolding in Grade 5 science classrooms at one school located in Update New York. More specifically, Study 1 explores how a teacher (Mrs. G) attends to and reflectively envisions students’ knowledge building in two classrooms. Next, Study 2 is designed based on the findings from Study 1, which investigates the noticing and scaffolding of two teachers (Mrs. G and Mrs. T) using embedded analytics support in four classrooms. The teachers in the two studies keep weekly reflective journals to write about their noticing and planning. Students have face-to-face metacognitive meetings and use online platforms (Knowledge Forum in Study 1 and Idea Thread Mapper in Study 2) for having open-ended discussions to create inquiry and build on ideas collaboratively. Additional analytical feedback is provided to the teachers regularly in Study 2. The datasets were collected from a range of activities in classrooms and online platforms. The collected datasets included: (a) teachers’ weekly reflective journals; (b) records of metacognitive meetings; (c) notes posted in online platforms; (d) students’ notebooks; and (e) records of teachers’ and students’ interviews. The teachers’ weekly reflected journals were analyzed through the grounded theory approach to identify the complicated mechanism and diverse elements in reflective noticing and responsive scaffolding of students’ inquiry-based collaborative learning processes. Further qualitative analyses of the classroom and online data explored and traced how teachers subsequently engaged in and facilitated students’ knowledge building. Results from the analyses show several findings. First, students’ emergent/ongoing inquiry is the key component that the teachers focus on during noticing and scaffolding in knowledge building communities. Second, the teachers’ envisioning becomes more encompassing by transferring toward the collective students’ moves in the classroom to facilitate collaborative inquiry deepening of the communities. Third, with the analytics support, the teachers integrated the analytical feedback with concurrent reflection and noticed missing inquiry in progressive knowledge building discourse. Responsively, they facilitated crosscutting concepts and reformed collaboration among students. Fourth, the teachers’ reflective noticing and responsive scaffolding processes were iterated during the course to facilitate the connections and expansions of students’ collective inquiry. Aligned with the literature on teacher reflection and learning analytics, the present dissertation expands to the novel exploration of teachers’ reflective noticing and responsive scaffolding with embedded analytics support and subsequent classroom actions. Particularly, this research unfolds the uncharted mechanism of teacher noticing and scaffolding in students’ collaborative inquiry-based learning and then investigates how knowledge building analytics functions as a supplementary tool to help teacher noticing and scaffolding in practice. By adopting analytics support, teachers consult analytical feedback during reflective noticing cyclically, redirecting students’ knowledge building progress over time. The primary implication of this research is that reflective teachers can understand how they monitor students’ emergent inquiry in ongoing discourse and utilize data-driven feedback to facilitate deeper ideas and collaboration of students in communities based on student needs.