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Title: Learning through online discussion : case studies of higher education student's experiences
Author: Bain, Yvonne Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 2872
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Although much has been written about learning in online discussion, the research literature reveals the need for further empirical research to be carried out.  For example, the use of online discussion is often seen as a means by which students can engage in a socially constructivist approach to learning, (Pena-Shaff et al., 2005; Hudson et al., 2006; Schrire, 2006) whilst others raise questions about the depth of engagement and the preparedness to learn in this socially constructivist context (Hawkey, 2003; Roberts and Lund, 2007).  The need to gain further understanding of learning through discussion is raised by Ravenscroft (2005); McConnell (2006); Goodyear and Ellis (2008).  This study adds to empirical research by exploring students’ engagement with online discussion at an individual and course level. Two key research questions are: What are the different approaches taken by students when responding to learning activities which ask them to engage in online discussion?  What are students’ perceptions of how their engagement in online discussion impacts on their learning and the learning of others?  The study is qualitative, phenomenographic in nature drawing on six case studies of Higher Education students’ engagement with online discussion.  A rich set of empirical data is gathered within the case studies.  A grounded approach to data collection and analysis is used, including the analysis of interview data in order to hear the students’ voices about their experiences.  The findings from the analysis of the case studies reveal different strategies that students use when engaging in online discussion, and diverse students’ views of learning through online discussion, even from within the same course context.  A framework for learning through online discussion emerges from the discussion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internet in education ; Computer-assisted instruction ; Education