The Knowledge Lab pursues interdisciplinary research into the ways in which digital technologies and digital information are transforming how people learn, work and communicate. Based at Birkbeck’s Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, the Lab brings together world-leading researchers from a wide range of backgrounds to explore problems that cannot be tackled from the perspective of a single discipline alone. Our extensive links with other research centres and institutions create a lively setting for cross-disciplinary engagement and exchange. We offer an exciting environment in which to undertake collaborative interdisciplinary research, pursue a PhD, or study on our MSc in Learning Technologies and other specialist Masters programmes. Our year-round programme of seminars and public lectures provides a focal point for shared enquiry and debate.

Our research at the Knowledge Lab is centred on three main questions:

What is the potential for new technologies to inform the pedagogies and practice of learning and to transform education?

Learning takes place in formal and informal contexts, in the workplace, in transitions between education and work, and throughout life Informed by pedagogic theory and practice, we investigate critically the roles and influences of digital technologies in individual, group, community and organisational learning.

How can digital systems be designed so as to foster equality of opportunity, social inclusion and well-being?

We pursue participatory design methodologies to build innovative mobile and pervasive computing systems, working in collaboration with user stakeholders, educationalists, scientists, businesses and other public and private organisations. We work to understand how people and technology interact, and how digital technologies can enable members of society to participate fully in cultural activity, business and e-government.

How can innovative computational methods and technologies be leveraged to support individuals and communities in information searching and understanding, and in knowledge creation?

The ubiquity of digital technologies is making available increasing volumes and varieties of data and information, presenting new opportunities for creating, assimilating, critiquing and sharing knowledge. Applying advanced computational techniques from big data, information integration, information management, information retrieval, knowledge representation and logical reasoning, we design and evaluate tools to support users in finding, combining and visualising information and in creating, assimilating, critiquing and sharing knowledge. We explore the use of social network analysis to understand how people collaborate with and influence each other and how knowledge diffuses through such networks.