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Higher Order Thinking in Online Courses

Higher Order Thinking in Online Courses
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Author(s): Kit Leung (McGill University, Canada)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 18
Source title: Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Terry T. Kidd (Texas A&M University, USA) and Holim Song (Texas Southern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-865-9.ch056

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Abstract

This research studies higher order thinking (HOT) processes in asynchronous discussions situated in a campus-based course that involved 11 pairs of graduate students. In these discussions, students examined assessment strategies used for teaching purposes jointly in one week. Taking a grounded theory approach, messages derived from discussions were analyzed with qualitative and quantitative analyses. The unit of analysis was concept. Thinking acts were categorized into communication sequences of initiation, response and comment. These sequences were further categorized with a 5-dimension taxonomy derived from the patterns of these acts observed. Statistical analysis was used to observe the frequency of these categories, and to validate the categorization consistency among coders. The results strongly suggest that HOT emerges when existing ideas are expanded and changed, and when ideas are expanded, new concepts emerge as these ideas are pondered from a wider perspective. The implication is that online discussion is an effective learning activity when students participate.

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