Communication in Creative Collaborations: The Challenges of Uncertainty and Desire Related to Task, Identity, and Relational Goals

Michelle Jordan, Austin S. Babrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study offers a systematic analysis of uncertainty in communication education by examining communication goals and challenges in the context of collaborative creative problem-solving in engineering assignments. Engineering design projects are seen as having the potential to help K-12 students learn to deal with uncertainty as well as a means through which to learn science and math. Educational researchers have emphasized the cognitive or very general social aspects of this context. The current investigation argues that collaborative, creative design work involves a distinctive constellation of communication challenges: ongoing efforts to temporarily suspend normal inclinations to understand well, to appraise what we understand, and to do so in relation to instrumental, identity, and relational meanings. This argument guides textual analyses of transcripts of fifth-graders assigned to groups tasked with designing and building an environmentally beneficial robot. Implications for communication education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-232
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Education
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Brainstorming
  • Collaborative Problem-Solving
  • Creativity
  • Elementary Education
  • Engineering Education
  • Identity and Relationship
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics

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