ERG SES D 02, Online Learning
With the global developments in ICT, in addition to philosophical, psychological, historical and social foundations, Ornstain and Hunkins (2018) argue that technology stands out as one of the foundations of education and curriculum today. Besides its role in increasing productivity and saving time, technology has also become an integral part of the discussions regarding equal access to resources for different groups within a society, such as the low-income and the disabled (Hamburg, Lazea & Marin, 2003; Frehywot et al., 2013). For that reason, different strategies such as blended learning and MOOCs have been analyzed by many studies (Deng, Bencendorff & Gannaway, 2019; Zhonggen, 2015). When these methods of teachings are examined, however, it is obvious that online discussions through forums or different platforms are the common point, meaning that as in face-to-face classroom environments, in online learning environments as well, discussions still constitute a crucial part in the instruction process.
As Murphy, Wilkinson and Soter (2011) suggest, discussion is a part of our everyday life. Weston and Cranton (1986) indicate that it is the most commonly used interactive method that involves constant and active questioning, opinion sharing and generating between student and teacher, or among students. For that reason, this technique requires upper levels of the cognitive domains in Bloom’s taxonomy, which are creation, evaluation and analysis/synthesis. Besides its benefit in terms of high cognitive level learning and classroom interaction (McLoughlin & Mynard, 2009), many face-to-face discussions might suffer from various problems such as flexibility in terms of timing, easy and quick access to the resources needed to contribute to the discussion. Online discussion, in that sense, becomes a good alternative to get over these problems. Moreover, Topcu (2006) suggests that online discussions can be effective in eliminating the feeling of discrimination and exclusion. In addition, Dos (2012) showed that online discussions contribute to interaction in terms of valuing peer learning, strong reflection, democratic atmosphere, and increased communication.
Despite of the theoretical background that suggests that both face-to-face and online discussions would create an ideal environment for students to interact and communicate effectively for high-level cognitive learning, some studies also show that online discussions don’t go beyond being a knowledge sharing activity, meaning that students entries in the forums appear to aim at only asking/answering questions rather than knowledge creation (Williams & Pury, 2002; Ozyurt & Ozyurt, 2013; Yüksektürk & Top, 2004; Haşlaman et al., 2008). In parallel with that, the aim of this study is to bring together a whole literature on online discussions in Turkey, and investigate what kind of factors with regard to student dispositions influence online discussion, and what kind of techniques are used to improve the effectiveness of online discussions. Moreover, along with the literature review, it is also aimed to identify and analyze these techniques in terms of cognitive and social constructivist theories that exist within the literature on face-to-face discussion as an instructional method.
The current study, which will contain studies conducted only in Turkey, is believed to contribute to the literature and discussions by presenting a rather clearer and more precise picture concentrating on only one context. Moreover, the study can also provide suggestions to instructors in terms of how they can view interactions among students in online discussion platforms based on student dispositions, and present some examples of strategies to improve the effectiveness of these discussions that are aimed at different levels within the cognitive domain.
The current study was designed as qualitative research and employed systematic review method. Systematic reviews aim at combining multiple studies on a specific topic or a problem to collect evidence for theoretical and practical implications (Whittemol & Knalf, 2005). For that reason, firstly, the topic of the review or the unit of analysis were specified. Later, the extensive review of the literature was conducted. After that, the studies were eliminated based on pre-defined criteria. In order to conduct the literature review, the aims of the study were taken into account, and accordingly, some keywords were generated. While doing the search, only the studies that were published between 2000 and 2018 were included since it was assumed that online learning is a relatively new topic and no studies were possibly conducted beforehand. To avoid from missing any research, the keywords were tried to be kept as broad as possible. In the end, 7 keywords were determined, which were “online discussion”, “asynchronous discussion”, “synchronous discussion”, “online forum”, “online argument”, “computer-mediated discussion” as well as the Turkish translations of these keywords. Using these keywords, in order to search for related studies, some databases were utilized. In total 8 databases were used, which were Web of Science, Taylor & Francis, Sage, Scopus, Cambridge Journals Online, Oxford Journals Online, Palgrave Macmillan Journals, and ULAKBIM (the Turkish Academic Network and Information Centre). While searching on these databases, only studies that were under the higher education category and that were conducted in Turkey were included. Moreover, studies other than journal articles were excluded. The databases were last accessed on January 2019.
The in-depth reviews of the articles concluded that only 23 of them actually referred to the participant dispositions and techniques used in an online discussion. Consequently, the number of the articles reviewed for this study was 13 for student dispositions, and 10 for online discussion techniques used. The preliminary analysis of these articles so far has shown that the studies in the literature show contradicting results in terms of student dispositions, meaning that student characteristics are still not an agreed-upon factor that influences participation and interaction in online discussions. In terms of techniques used to improve discussion as an instructional technique, as expected by the researcher, studies show that different techniques are found to be effective for different cognitive processes such as critical thinking, metacognition, and understanding, all of which refer to different cognitive levels.
Deng, R., Benckendorff, P., & Gannaway, D. (2018). Progress and new directions for teaching and learning in MOOCs. Computers & Education, 129, 48-60. Dos, B. (2012). Asynchronous discussion forum experience: blended course students' views. In ICERI2012 Proceedings (4399-4404). The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED). Frehywot, S., Vovides, Y., Talib, Z., Mikhail, N., Ross, H., Wohltjen, H., ... & Scott, J. (2013). E-learning in medical education in resource constrained low- and middle-income countries. Human resources for health, 11(4), 1-15. Hamburg, I., Lazea, M., & Marin, M. (2003). Open web-based learning environments and knowledge forums to support disabled people. In International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems (1208-1215). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Haşlaman, T., Demiraslan, Y., Kuşkaya Mumcu, F., Dönmez, O. & Aşkar, P. (2008). Examining communication patterns of group discussions in an online learning environment by discourse analysis. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 35, 162-174. McLoughlin, D. & Mynard, J. (2009). An analysis of higher order thinking in online discussions. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(2), 147-160. Murphy, K. P., Wilkinson, I. A. G. & Soter A. O. (2011). Instruction based on discussion. In T. R. E. Mayer & P. A. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of research on learning and instruction (135-148). NY: Routledge. Ornstain, A. C. & Hunkins, F. P. (2018). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. England: Pearson. Ozyurt, O. & Ozyurt, H. (2013). An examination of computer engineering students’ perceptions about asynchronous discussion forum. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 9(4), 371-378. Topcu, A. (2006). Gender difference in an online asynchronous discussion performance. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 5(4), 44-51. Weston, C. & Cranton, P. A. (1989). Selecting instructional strategies. The Journal of Higher Education, 57(3), 259-288. Whittemorer, R. & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrated review: updated methodology. The Turkish Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52(5), 546-553. Williams, S. & Pury, C. (2002). Student attitudes toward and participation in electronic discussions. International Journal of Educational Technology. 3 (1). Yükseltürk, E., & Top, E. (2004). Content analysis of online course discussions. In EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 2813-2820). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Zhonggen, Y. (2015). Blended learning over two decades. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (IJICTE), 11(3), 1-19.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.