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A case study of online instructional collaborative discussion activities for problem-solving using situated scenarios: An examination of content and behavior cluster analysis
ARTICLE

Computers & Education Volume 56, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

In some higher education courses that focus on case studies, teachers can provide situated scenarios (such as business bottlenecks and medical cases) and problem-solving discussion tasks for students to promote their cognitive skills. There is limited research on the content, performance, and behavioral patterns of teaching using online discussions and integrated situated scenarios. This case study empirically explored the learning process of adopting collaborative online instructional discussion activities for the purpose of problem-solving using situated scenarios in a higher education course. Thirty-two university students carried out problem-solving activities on case scenarios and problem-solving tasks assigned by the teacher on the discussion forum. Two forms of instructional activities were considered: 1) problem-solving in a given scenario and 2) problem-solving when learners play roles in a given scenario. The activities mentioned above were each implemented for a week.Using analytical methods that combined qualitative and quantitative approaches, we conducted quantitative content analysis, qualitative protocol analysis, and cluster analysis. We compared the differences in the quality of discussions, patterns of cognitive structure, and patterns of the clusters of possible discussion behaviors.Our study suggests that, when compared to general situated learning activity, discussions are of better quality when they involve a role-playing activity, which also yields the most diverse options for solutions. However, when learners engage in either approach to situated learning, the cognitive aspects of application, evaluation, and innovation are often still found lacking. Our study discusses the observed behavioral patterns and learning-related limitations of these activities and provides specific recommendations for teachers and researchers.

Citation

Hou, H.T. (2011). A case study of online instructional collaborative discussion activities for problem-solving using situated scenarios: An examination of content and behavior cluster analysis. Computers & Education, 56(3), 712-719. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 22, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.10.013

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