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ERIC Number: EJ1079614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1939-5256
Using Word Clouds in Online Discussions to Support Critical Thinking and Engagement
deNoyelles, Aimee; Reyes-Foster, Beatriz
Online Learning, v19 n4 Sep 2015
Being actively engaged in a task is often associated with critical thinking. Cultivating critical thinking skills, such as purposefully reflecting and analyzing one's own thinking, is a major goal of higher education. However, there is a challenge in providing college students opportunities to clearly demonstrate these skills in online courses. This research explores the effectiveness of incorporating word clouds--visual representations of word frequency in a given passage of text--into online discussions. We sought to establish whether implementing word clouds in online discussions would result in a higher incidence of critical thinking and engagement. Survey results from undergraduate participants (n = 132) revealed that students analyzing text in word clouds reported moderately higher scores on critical thinking and engagement than students analyzing the text in a linear fashion. A positive relationship was found between critical thinking and engagement, as well as peer interaction. This strategy can be applied to a wide range of educational environments to stimulate critical thinking and engagement.
Online Learning Consortium, Inc. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. Tel: 888-898-6209; Fax: 888-898-6209; e-mail: olj@onlinelearning-c.org; Web site: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/online-learning-journal/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A