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Enhancing Collaborative Learning: Impact of "Question Prompts" Design for Online Discussion

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Delta Pi Epsilon Journal Volume 53, Number 1, ISSN 0011-8052


Objective: The purpose of study was to investigate the impact of question prompts designed to guide students' focus on context-related issues as they solve problems in a web-based environment. Background: Online discussions integrated with collaborative learning were used to examine student interactions and behaviors in an online discussion. Method: Twenty graduate students were randomly assigned to either the treatment (ten participants) or the control group (ten participants); one group received question prompts while working in the web-based learning environment while the other did not. At the end, they were asked to fill out an online questionnaire rating their confidence and competence levels in the problem solving process. Analyses were conducted to determine the impact of question prompts. Results: Statistical results showed that students who received question prompts from the instructor received significantly higher evaluations than students who did not receive question prompts when analyzed overall and when each rubric was analyzed individually. In addition, the study also suggested that online discussion had significant positive impact in developing students' deeper learning. Conclusion: Question prompts designed by the instructor helped to enhance students' self-efficacy about their ability to solve complex problems. Application: The outcome indicated the importance of teachers' guidance and assistance to lead students into deeper learning. Although online learning provides flexibility and potential for deeper learning, the online discussion needs to be structured and moderated throughout the process. (Contains 9 tables.)


Du, J., Yu, C. & Olinzock, A.A. (2011). Enhancing Collaborative Learning: Impact of "Question Prompts" Design for Online Discussion. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 53(1), 28-41. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from .

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Cited By

View References & Citations Map
  • Factors that Influence the Quality of Online Discussions

    Alexandru Spatariu, Georgetown College, United States; Denise Winsor, University of Memphis, United States

    E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2013 (Oct 21, 2013) pp. 1398–1406

  • Student Perceptions of Online Discussion Prompts

    Yuankun Yao, University of Central Missouri, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 (Mar 25, 2013) pp. 1147–1154

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