Content-Free Critical Thinking Tests to Assess Programs and Courses Several commercially available tests attempt to assess critical thinking in a content-free way; that is, they do not assess thinking in nursing or biology or business management courses but instead assess the student's recognition of the use of evidence to support a claim, the validity of reasoning, logical fallacies, soundness of interpretations, drawing conclusions, and the like. A review of critical thinking tests can be found at the web site of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative US Department of Education at http: Often such tests are used by departments to assess whether their programs or courses have improved students' critical thinking. Departments typically use the A version as a pre-test before students begin the program or course and the B version as a post-test.
How do Small Groups Develop over Time? Namsook Jahng Canada Abstract This study investigated communication patterns and behavior in problem-solving groups in a graduate online course.
An inductive qualitative analysis method was employed to analyze messages that were retrieved from small group forums. The current study identified a temporal pattern of group development was in comparison with existing theoretical models: All the groups had two working phases and three decision-making points.
Group development; collaboration; communication; behavior; problem-solving Introduction Collaborative learning is a central theme of research and instructional design in online courses. The benefits of collaboration in groups have been confirmed in literature in terms of higher academic achievement, developing higher levels of reasoning and critical thinking, deeper engagement and improved analytic skills, and improving teamwork skills and interpersonal skills Smith, Problem-solving activities in small groups are frequently employed as an instructional method to foster collaboration in current online courses.
The problem-solving activities can be designed along a continuum from well-structured to ill-structured Jonassen, An ill-structured problem-solving activity is designed to allow learners to engage in more complex collaboration processes with divergent ideas and experiences shared among individuals to reach convergent thinking in knowledge building, and commonly based on assumptions and methods of constructivism and situated cognition Jonassen, A comprehensive understanding of group process and participation behavior can provide educators and researchers with insights for better planning and assisting learners.
This study aims to provide a vivid description of collaboration processes in a problem-solving activity in a graduate online course. Conducting an inductive qualitative analysis on asynchronous communication transcripts, the research identifies a pattern of group changes and examines the factors hindering or facilitating collaboration in each group.
The research questions are 1 How do groups develop or change over time to complete a group project? Storming refers to a period of counter-dependency and fight.
At this stage, members often disagree among themselves about group goals and procedures. Norming is a period of establishing trust among members and building group structure, which is characterized by more mature negotiations about roles, organization, and procedures.
The final stage, performing, is a time of intense team productivity and effectiveness. Tuckman and Jensen updated the model by adding a fifth stage i. For example, McGrath suggests the four modes of inception, technical problem solving, conflict resolution, and execution. Stage 1 access and motivation2 online socialization3 information exchange4 knowledge constructionand 5 development.
Gersick examined the life-spans of eight naturally occurring project groups and found that the groups did not go through a universal series of stages across time, as traditional group development models would predict.
At the midpoint of their allotted calendar time, groups undergo a transition, which sets a revised direction for phase 2, a second period of inertial movement.
Wheelan and colleagues investigated the verbal behavior patterns and perceptions of 26 groups. Johnson and colleagues described the community-building process of virtual learning teams by conducting both an inductive qualitative analysis and a quantitative analysis on survey data collected from 36 graduate students.
Skipping the storming stage in online courses should be taken seriously with respect to the quality of collaborative learning. Avoiding constructive conflicts may lead to superficial collaboration.
In this regard, quite a few studies about online collaborative learning have reported that only a small percentage of groups productively accomplished tasks by reaching a fully developed stage in online courses e.
Online project groups that are engaged in problem-solving activities may reveal specific patterns of group dynamics and decision-making behaviors.Scoring Rubric: Literary Analysis/Interpretation The organization, elements of literary analysis/interpretation writing, grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling of a written piece are scored in this rubric.
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Introductory Techniques. Edit Article How to Write a Research Paper. In this Article: Article Summary Choosing Your Topic Researching Making an Outline Writing Your Paper Sample Research Papers and Outlines Community Q&A When studying at higher levels of school and throughout college, you will likely be asked to prepare research papers.