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ERIC Number: ED527352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 283
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-2458-6
ISSN: N/A
Document Analyses of Student Use of a Blogging-Mapping Tool to Explore Evidence of Deep and Reflective Learning
Xie, Ying
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Theories about reflective thinking and deep-surface learning abound. In order to arrive at the definition for "reflective thinking toward deep learning," this study establishes that reflective thinking toward deep learning refers to a learner's purposeful and conscious activity of manipulating ideas toward meaningful learning and knowledge integration. The popular kinds of weblog tool usually do not provide any proper prompts for students to make "connections between the parts of an experience"--an integral part of a reflective activity. A newly designed blogging-mapping tool could scaffold the whole learning process: besides writing blogs on the website, a student could attach up to five keywords to each blog, and link the keywords on the map. The major research question was: What kinds of thinking appeared from the blogs, and the concept maps? Nine students in a graduate-level instructional design course participated in the study. They wrote one blog each week for an average of 10 weeks. Most of them attached three to five keywords to each blog. They also revised their concept maps one to four times during the semester. Students' blogs were each analyzed with Automap--software producing mental maps of the blog texts, calculating Automap nodes of high centrality (most talked about nodes and most connected nodes). The researcher compared students-generated keywords against Automap nodes. Results of keywords analyses revealed that 2/3 of the students-attached keywords matched Automap nodes. This might indicate that keywords-attaching prompt could have made students' thinking explicit. The findings also uncovered a vast variety of differences between participant-selected keywords and Automap nodes and blog main topics. Relative to Automap nodes, some participant-selected keywords: (a) summarized some Automap nodes or the main ideas of the blogs; (b) were subsumed under some Automap nodes; (c) were irrelevant to the main topics. In addition, on some occasions, some participants failed to use keywords to represent the important ideas of their blogs. Each scenario suggested various levels of thinking and utilities of this feature of the tool. The variety in students' thinking ranged from the most effortless "randomly using suggested keywords" to relatively effortful "finding components/specifics of major concepts," and to more effortful "selecting afterthoughts" and "associating concepts to their application contexts." All versions of students' concept maps were analyzed for (a) the connected keyword; (b) the accuracy of the label; (c) how students revised the concept map over time; (d) the degree of students' knowledge integration. Resulted showed that (1) six of the nine participants connected most or all keywords they selected whereas three only connected some keywords. (2) The relationships among concepts reflected the points of view of students' blogs and the common knowledge of the field. Still, shallow and insensible connections existed across the participants. (3) Most of the students waited until the end of the semester before they started concept mapping. During the semester, they tended to limit the revised connections to keywords of a same blog. Among them, Joe was an particular example in that he modified his concept maps almost every week and all of his connections remained in "clusters" of same blog' keywords. (4) By the end of the semester, most of the students started to integrate knowledge around some of the core concepts of the field (e.g. "instructional design"). However, the level of knowledge integration seemed different. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A