NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1073725
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
Booth, S. & Hulten, M. (2003), Open Dimensions of Variation: An Empirical Study of Learning in a Web-Based Discussion. "Instructional Science", 31, 65-86
McCracken, Janet
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v29 n3 Fall 2003
As increasing numbers of undergraduate students in higher education are engaging in online group discussions as part of their course work, there is a need to gain insights into the nature of the experience of learning in this new context. Previous studies have reported benefits for students who engaged in online discussions, but few describe these benefits within a theoretical framework. This paper describes the results of a study of engineers enrolled in a distance course in which they "designed" an automatic vehicle. The course can be described as blended, as there were both online and face-to-­face sessions. The study analysed asynchronous group discussions, which constituted the communication mode for an optional collaborative project. The goal of the collaborative project was to create a specification for an automatic driving system. In keeping with a phenomenographic methodology, the analysis focused on seeking themes that emerged from the online discussions for the group as a whole and creating categories that represented these themes.
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A