Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/22285
Title: 
Authors: 
Supervisor: 
Wang, Qiyun
Mavrikis, Manolis
Issue Date: 
2019
Abstract: 
The purpose of this study is to design instructional strategies that will contribute towards promoting cognitive engagement in a collaborative learning environment, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional strategies through analysis of the cognitive engagement of the students.

Academic modules are attended by a wide diversity of students, who are enrolled into various academic programmes of different disciplines and academic fields, and are supported by the predominant modular systems which are adopted by internationally renowned universities. Some critical concerns with the rising number of diverse students are that these students would have varied educational foundations and prior experiences, and their enrolment into common modules would result to a congregation of diverse students with wide knowledge gaps and different learning approaches. There are challenges when teaching a classroom of students with an assortment of skills, different learning styles and approaches, and varied attitudes toward learning. Such challenges can lead to low cognitive engagement of the students, and can become apparent in collaborative learning where vast amounts of information and experience are shared during group discussions in assignments or tasks using case scenarios, which are prevalent approaches to learning commonly used in higher education.

Cognitive engagement is the extent to which a student engages with the learning materials. It can be observed from the student’s overt behaviour, while undertaking a learning activity in the context of an instructional strategy or learning task, as a reliable proxy to reflect a difference in knowledge-change or learning process. For this study, the students’ modes of cognitive engagement are based on fine grained overt behaviour, and are subsequently categorised as one of four ordinal modes, namely interactive, constructive, active and passive.

This study used the design-based research approach, which required multiple iterative cycles, so as to develop a more comprehensive account and a deeper understanding of the study with respect to iterative educational interventions. The study was thus conducted in four cycles, across two academic years (AY 2015/16 and AY 2016/17), where two cycles were conducted in the second semester of each academic year. A total of 56 local and international students, who were enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, were involved in the study.

Altogether, 17 instructional strategies were designed and introduced across the four cycles in order to evaluate their effectiveness in promoting cognitive engagement among the students working together in a collaborative learning environment. Some of the instructional strategies were identified to have issues, and had to be addressed and improved in the subsequent cycle. The findings concluded that the instructional strategies were able to promote cognitive engagement among the students with varied effectiveness, and possible reasons for the results were provided. It was also found that the instructional strategies were progressively improving the cognitive engagement of the students, gradually shifting the levels of cognitive engagement of the students towards higher modes for every successive cycle. The findings also led to the development of a set of design principles, as a reference for educators and practitioners in education, for designing and implementing instructional strategies for promoting cognitive engagement in other comparable collaborative learning environments.
URI: 
Issued Date: 
2019
Call Number: 
LB1028.38 The
File Permission: 
Restricted
File Availability: 
With file
Appears in Collections:Doctor in Education (Ed.D.)

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