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Solving Ill-Structured Problems in Asynchronous Online Discussions: Built-in Scaffolds vs. No Scaffolds
ARTICLE

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Interactive Learning Environments Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 1049-4820

Abstract

Solving ill-structured problems is regarded as an important learning outcome in education as it allows learners to apply theories learnt into real practice. An asynchronous online discussion, with extended time for reflection, is an appropriate learning environment to engage learners in solving ill-structured problems. However, scaffolds may be needed to support learners in the online discussions. This study explores the effect of online scaffolds in supporting a group of graduate students' ill-structured problem-solving processes in asynchronous online discussions. The results of this study showed that the use of the online scaffolds did not lead to a significant difference in the number of ill-structured problem-solving processes. Further analysis revealed that wrong selection of message labels and under-usage of sentence openers affected the results of this study. Improvements for online scaffolds include having more precise message labels and sentence openers based on Socratic questioning approach. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables, and 1 note.)

Citation

Ng, C.S.L., Cheung, W.S. & Hew, K.F. (2010). Solving Ill-Structured Problems in Asynchronous Online Discussions: Built-in Scaffolds vs. No Scaffolds. Interactive Learning Environments, 18(2), 115-134. Retrieved October 14, 2019 from .

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