ERIC Number: EJ683665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-1
Personality Interactions and Scaffolding in On-Line Discussions
Nussbaum, E. Michael; Hartley, Kendall; Sinatra, Gale M.; Reynolds, Ralph E.; Bendixen, Lisa D.
Journal of Educational Computing Research, v30 n1-2 p113-136 Jan 2004
The potential of on-line discussions to prompt greater reflection of course material is often stymied by a tendency of students to agree with one another rather than to formulate counter-arguments. This article describes an experiment using note starters and elaborated cases to encourage counter-argumentation and examines interactions with personality characteristics. Participants were 48 undergraduates who wrote on-line discussion notes in response to two issues in educational psychology. Participants also completed a personality survey, based on McCrae and Costa's (1997) five-factor personality model. There was a significant positive main effect of note starters on the frequency of disagreement, as well as personality-treatment interactions between note starters and several personality characteristics, The results suggest that note starters are most useful for students with low degrees of curiosity ("openness to ideas") or assertiveness, and who are not overly anxious. Note starters appear to encourage students to consider other points of view during on-line discussions.
Descriptors: Personality Traits, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Educational Psychology, Assertiveness, Teleconferencing, Undergraduate Students, Group Discussion, Group Dynamics, Anxiety, Notetaking
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A