Streaming Media

Abstract

Establishing an asynchronous learning environment that fosters critical thinking can be difficult due to the constraints of the format. The value of back-and-forth exchange of ideas and points can be muted by the lag time between posts. Students also tend to view forum posting as an individual writing activity, not the debate or discussion that faculty designed such environments to foster. This presentation will examine an attempt during the spring 2015 semester to employ a scaffold approach that supports moving students from individual blogging to debate in an online course. The course content involves the study of the impact of digital technology on modern society, with students engaged in writing activities for several topics followed by an online debate as the culminating academic assignment. The online writing assignments are designed to model and develop critical thinking by creating online versions of such exercises as peer critiques, circle of voices, chalk talk, and post-it appreciation (Brookefield, 2012). The final activity will adapt a cyclical debate model to an asynchronous online format, and be completed in groups of seven students. In this debate two group members will take opposite sides of an issue relevant to the course content, with another group member in the role of moderator and the rest acting as a jury and determining the side with the best case for their position. This presentation would be of interest to faculty and instructional designers who struggle with ways to facilitate critical thinking in online and blended courses. References: Brookfield, S.D. (2012). Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question their Assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Session

Session 1A: Blending to Teach Critical Thinking and Writing

Location

Dalton 300

Start Date

5-20-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

5-20-2015 11:45 AM

 
May 20th, 10:30 AM May 20th, 11:45 AM

Teaching Critical Thinking through Online Writing and Debate

Dalton 300

Establishing an asynchronous learning environment that fosters critical thinking can be difficult due to the constraints of the format. The value of back-and-forth exchange of ideas and points can be muted by the lag time between posts. Students also tend to view forum posting as an individual writing activity, not the debate or discussion that faculty designed such environments to foster. This presentation will examine an attempt during the spring 2015 semester to employ a scaffold approach that supports moving students from individual blogging to debate in an online course. The course content involves the study of the impact of digital technology on modern society, with students engaged in writing activities for several topics followed by an online debate as the culminating academic assignment. The online writing assignments are designed to model and develop critical thinking by creating online versions of such exercises as peer critiques, circle of voices, chalk talk, and post-it appreciation (Brookefield, 2012). The final activity will adapt a cyclical debate model to an asynchronous online format, and be completed in groups of seven students. In this debate two group members will take opposite sides of an issue relevant to the course content, with another group member in the role of moderator and the rest acting as a jury and determining the side with the best case for their position. This presentation would be of interest to faculty and instructional designers who struggle with ways to facilitate critical thinking in online and blended courses. References: Brookfield, S.D. (2012). Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question their Assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.