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ERIC Number: EJ910618
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Using Focused Web-Based Discussions to Enhance Student Engagement and Deep Understanding
Persell, Caroline Hodges
Teaching Sociology, v32 n1 p61-78 Jan 2004
To increase student engagement and enhance critical thinking and deep understanding, I supplemented weekly seminar meetings with focused Web-based discussions of issues in a "Race and Education" senior sociology seminar. These Web-based discussions were structured by specific questions and discussion roles. Before seminar, Staters posted on the course Web site the most important thing they learned from a reading, describing what was most difficult, and raising new sociological questions. After seminar, Responders replied to the questions and difficulties posted and posed further sociological questions. Two days later, Integrators synthesized and integrated what they had learned that week from others' postings, readings, and seminar discussion, and raised further questions. Analysis of student postings suggests that students' engagement with the ideas of others increased during the semester and their thinking became more complex. This paper discusses the processes that contributed to students' learning and suggested pedagogical changes. It also raises questions for further research. (Contains 3 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