Testing CATALYST tools: an interview with Luca Iandoli from the University of Naples

We interviewed Luca Iandoli, an associate professor of Engineering Management at the School of Engineering of the University of Naples Federico II, to understand his implication in the testing of CATALYST tools following the University of Naples successful application to the open-call. Luca Iandoli is also a visiting professor at the School of Systems and Enterprises of the Stevens Institute of Technologies (Hoboken, NJ, USA) and a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence. “In the last years I have focused my research work on collective intelligence and online collaboration. The fundamental question that I believe underlies most of my research work is: How can we design improve socio-technical systems in a way that individual action can be aggregated so that the collective system behaves in a more intelligent way?”, he precised.


Luca also shared with us information about his community, and what CATALYST tools can bring to it. “I have a large class of 150 engineering management students attending an introductory course in Economics and Management. A class is an obvious place for social learning and community emergence. The group is based in Naples, Italy and students are aged 21 to 23”. Luca also told us that he planned to use CATALYST tools to support extra lecture discussions and debate among students and in particular to help them to refine their argumentation skills. He supported his previous statement that “in more traditional engineering courses there is less room for debate and discussion because students are exposed to well known quantitative models and “unquestionable” design approaches. In Social Sciences instead, and in Economics in particular, theories and models tend to be more controversial and less amenable to strong quantitative modelling while the complexity of social systems can be much higher than the one of engineering systems. So I expect that following up the lectures and the theories with critical discussion will help students to learn better and provide them with an opportunity to improve their argumentation skills.”  


We then asked him why he applied to CATALYST; he said in reply that he would like “to access a network of people and resource in the field of social learning enabled by online technologies”. As for the core content of his proposal, it was related to the experimentation of CATALYST tools in educational application.


Luca chose Debate Hub for the experiment. He expects to learn more about the actual impact of these technologies on students learning and on how to improve the design of these platforms in order to get better outcomes. “I also expect to be able to share my ideas and the evaluation outcomes with the CATALYST network and engage into fruitful conversation and knowledge exchange”, he added.


Discover more interviews of CATALYST open-call winners such as the videos of Noemi Salantiu (EdgeRyders) and Carlos Rossique (AutoConsulta Ciudadana) on CATALYST YouTube channel and do not forget to subscribe for all live updates!