ERIC Number: EJ934545
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
Student-Content Interactions in Online Courses: The Role of Question Prompts in Facilitating Higher-Level Engagement with Course Content
Ertmer, Peggy A.; Sadaf, Ayesha; Ertmer, David J.
Journal of Computing in Higher Education, v23 n2-3 p157-186 Dec 2011
This study examined the relationships among question types and levels and students' subsequent responses/interactions in online discussion forums. Question prompts were classified both by type, as outlined by Andrews ("POD Q J Prof Organ Dev Net Higher Education" 2(34):129-163, 1980), and by levels of critical thinking, as outlined by Bloom (Taxonomy of educational objectives, David McKay, New York, "1956"). Students' responses (n = 850), taken from 19 discussion forums, were coded using Bloom's six levels of cognitive processing: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Interaction patterns were determined using three of Andrews' "mileage" indicators: average number of responses/student, average number of student-student sequences per question prompt, and average number of threads (and posts within a thread) for each question prompt. Results support the hypothesis that questions at the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy facilitate higher levels of students' responses. Among Andrews' nine question types, "lower divergent" questions were most effective in generating high levels of student thinking compared to other question types. In terms of interaction patterns, "brainstorming" and "playground" questions averaged the highest number of posts/student as well as highest average number of student responses/prompt. Questions at the "comprehension," "application," and "synthesis" levels resulted in the highest average number of student-student sequences. Implications for the development of effective question prompts are discussed.
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Course Content, Interaction, Classification, Prompting, Correlation, Critical Thinking, Web Based Instruction, Instructional Design, Discussion, Educational Strategies, Instructional Effectiveness, Cues, Questioning Techniques, Brainstorming
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A