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ERIC Number: EJ880050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
Participation in Knowledge-Building Discourse: An Analysis of Online Discussions in Mainstream and Honours Social Studies Courses
Niu, Hui; van Aalst, Jan
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v35 n1 Win 2009
Questions about the suitability of cognitively-oriented instructional approaches for students of different academic levels are frequently raised by teachers and researchers. This study examined student participation in knowledge-building discourse in two implementations of a short inquiry unit focusing on environmental problems. Participants in each implementation consisted of students taking a mainstream or an honours version of a tenth grade social studies course. We retrieved data about students' actions in Knowledge Forum[R] (e.g., the number of notes created and the percentage of notes with links), and conducted a content analysis of the discourse by each collaborative group. We suggest the findings provide cause for optimism about the use of knowledge-building discourse across academic levels: there was moderate to strong evidence of knowledge building in both classes by Implementation 2. We end with suggestions for focusing online work more directly on knowledge building. (Contains 4 tables.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Writing Apprehension Test