THE EBB AND FLOW OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS: WHAT BLOOM CAN TELL US ABOUT OUR STUDENTS’ CONVERSATIONS

Katrina A. Meyer

Abstract


This study looks at online discussions within the context of a group endeavor and attempts to evaluate three assertions: 1) students in an online discussion proceed through higher levels of thinking; 2) Online conversations follow an “ebb and flow” pattern; 3) The level of the first posting to the discussion influences the level of subsequent postings. Postings were classified by the Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives and were graphed to help analyze the assertions. There was only modest support for the first assertion and better support for the second and third assertions. Analyzing online discussions as a group endeavor may well prove an interesting area of research for those interested in applying the existing body of literature and theory on group discussions in the face-to-face arena to the online environment. Researchers need to evaluate whether this literature is applicable to online discussions and what distinctions can legitimately be made between group discussions in the face-to-face or online mode.


Keywords


Online learning,evaluation of online discussions,group discussion,Bloom’s taxonomy

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v9i1.1802



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