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Participation and Critical Thinking in Online University Distance Education

Participation and Critical Thinking in Online University Distance Education

This case study of a university-level course delivered by computer conferencing examined student participation and critical thinking. It was guided by two purposes: (a) to determine whether the students were actively participating, building on each other’s contributions, and thinking critically about the discussion topics; and (b) to determine what factors affected student participation and critical thinking. The results suggest that the emergence of a dynamic and interactive educational process that facilitates critical thinking is contingent on several factors: appropriate course design, instructor interventions, content, and students’ characteristics. The study concludes that computer conferencing should be given serious consideration by distance educators as a way of facilitating... Show More
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