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ERIC Number: EJ849628
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Making Connections: Using Online Discussion Forums to Engage Students in Historical Inquiry
Blankenship, Whitney
Social Education, v73 n3 p127-130 Apr 2009
The ongoing interpretive case study that the author highlights in this article focused on students' use of online discussion forums within a problem-based inquiry classroom. The focus of inquiry during the year centered on two historical questions: What does it mean to be an American? What is America's place in the world? The participants in this study are students in two sections of the author's International Baccalaureate History of the Americas course. Students are required to post to the discussion forums four times each six weeks. They have the option of either beginning new discussion threads or responding to the posts of their peers, but all posts must be related back to the content of the course: the social, political, and economic history of the American continent. The author conducts a content analysis of the archived posts at the end of each semester. Utilizing a constant comparative method, 10 themes were identified within the archived discussions by grouping discussion topics into two categories: (1) transfer of knowledge and (2) engagement with class content. Additionally all posts within a discussion thread were read and analyzed chronologically within the topic. The results of the content analysis, along with student surveys, and in class observations are the basis for the findings in this article. Data was also subject to member checks and peer examination. (Contains 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A