Author Vijayan Narayananayar
Title Polytechnic students' collaborative knowledge building using asynchronous online discussion : a case study from Singapore
Institute Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Year 2013
Supervisor Chai, Ching Sing
Call no. LB1044.87 Vij

Polytechnic students‟ perception of collaborative knowledge building using Asynchronous Online Discussion (AOD) as compared to face-to-face discussion was the main aim of this study. With a lack of research to inform practice on local polytechnic students‟ perception of collaborative knowledge building practices, the preliminary study aims to inform practice. Using mixed method design, the study analysed a group of 125 students from a local polytechnic who participated in collaborative knowledge building via AOD. Students‟ perception of collaborative knowledge building using AOD as compared to face-to-face discussion showed statistically no significant difference. There was, however, a significant difference in task performance of students using AOD than face-to-face discussion. Qualitative analysis of AOD showcased lower levels of knowledge co-construction discussion threads amongst students. Most of the discussion threads were anchored on sharing, discovering and negotiation of ideas and information i.e., within the initial phases of collaborative knowledge construction rather than at the knowledge construction phases. The later are more essential in nurturing collaborative knowledge building. This study suggests that there is a need to scaffold polytechnic students‟ use of AOD for the purpose of collaborative knowledge building.

Keywords: Collaborative Knowledge Building; Polytechnic Students; Student Perception; Interaction Analysis Model; Asynchronous Online Discussion