Every day, ordinary Internet users engage with complex copyright laws. Particularly in the context of creative work and appropriation, they are making decisions related to legal areas that are notoriously gray. Where legal knowledge is imperfect, social norms and ethical intuitions fill in the gaps. This research attempts to understand how these decisions are made, how norms and knowledge differ in different creative communities, and what lessons can be derived from online community management and design.
The concept that people learn best when they are making something personally meaningful - also known as constructionism - is the lab's guiding philosophy. Computer networks have the potential to facilitate community-supported constructionist learning. The Electronic Learning Communities Lab examines ways communities of learners can motivate and support one another's learning experiences.