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ERIC Number: EJ908630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1315
A Case Study of Online Instructional Collaborative Discussion Activities for Problem-Solving Using Situated Scenarios: An Examination of Content and Behavior Cluster Analysis
Hou, Huei-Tse
Computers & Education, v56 n3 p712-719 Apr 2011
In some higher education courses that focus on case studies, teachers can provide situated scenarios (such as business bottlenecks and medical cases) and problem-solving discussion tasks for students to promote their cognitive skills. There is limited research on the content, performance, and behavioral patterns of teaching using online discussions and integrated situated scenarios. This case study empirically explored the learning process of adopting collaborative online instructional discussion activities for the purpose of problem-solving using situated scenarios in a higher education course. Thirty-two university students carried out problem-solving activities on case scenarios and problem-solving tasks assigned by the teacher on the discussion forum. Two forms of instructional activities were considered: 1) problem-solving in a given scenario and 2) problem-solving when learners play roles in a given scenario. The activities mentioned above were each implemented for a week. Using analytical methods that combined qualitative and quantitative approaches, we conducted quantitative content analysis, qualitative protocol analysis, and cluster analysis. We compared the differences in the quality of discussions, patterns of cognitive structure, and patterns of the clusters of possible discussion behaviors. Our study suggests that, when compared to general situated learning activity, discussions are of better quality when they involve a role-playing activity, which also yields the most diverse options for solutions. However, when learners engage in either approach to situated learning, the cognitive aspects of application, evaluation, and innovation are often still found lacking. Our study discusses the observed behavioral patterns and learning-related limitations of these activities and provides specific recommendations for teachers and researchers. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A