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Facilitating critical thinking in asynchronous online discussion: comparison between peer- and instructor-redirection
Oh, Eunjung Grace · Huang, Wen-Hao David · Hedayati Mehdiabadi, Amir · Ju, Boreum

Published9 April 2018
JournalJournal of Computing in Higher Education
Volume 30, Issue 3, Pages 489-509
PublisherSpringer
CountryUnited States, North America

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to explore and compare learners’ critical thinking and interaction during an asynchronous online discussion when peer- or instructor-facilitation was provided. Current literature on online discussion reveals a controversy between peer facilitation and instructor facilitation regarding their strengths and weaknesses. However, the effect of peer-facilitation on critical thinking learning outcome has not been clearly discussed. Situated in a graduate-level program evaluation course, the learners engaged in a debate using a scenario-based case on ethical decision-making. A content analysis of discussion using the Cognitive Presence framework and a social network analysis revealed a significant difference between peer-redirected group and instructor-redirected group in their cognitive presence as well as in interaction dynamic upon receiving the redirection message. Based on findings regarding cognitive presence level, interaction dynamic and perspective change on the debate topic in each group, a peer-facilitation approach is more effective for fostering critical thinking and collaborative discourse.

Keywords asynchronous online discussion · critical thinking · facilitation strategies · interaction dynamic

CoI focusCognitive presence, Teaching presence
PopulationGraduate
Study designCase study
Data analysisContent analysis, Social network analysis
ContributionPractical
Study aim"... to explore and compare learners’ critical thinking and interaction during an asynchronous online discussion when peer- or instructor-facilitation was provided."
Finding"... a peer-facilitation approach is more effective for fostering critical thinking and collaborative discourse."
LanguageEnglish
ISSN1042-1726
RefereedYes
DOI10.1007/s12528-018-9180-6
ExportBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar


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