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Title: Examining facilitators' habits of mind and learners' participation
Authors: Cheung, Wing Sum
Hew, Khe Foon
Keywords: problem solving
asynchronous online discussion
habits of mind
learners' participation
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Paper presented at the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) Conference, Melbourne, Australia, November 30 to December 3 2008
Abstract: The use of online- and blended-learning is growing very fast in universities. Given this interest in online-/blended-learning, understanding how to promote participation among learners in asynchronous online discussions, which is considered an integral part of online- /blended-learning has become increasingly crucial. Previous research has examined how factors, such as course design, and the amount of facilitator involvement can affect learner participation. However, none of the previous studies hitherto has examined facilitators’ thinking dispositions or habits of mind. Habits of mind may be defined as the characteristics of what intelligent people do and think when they face an issue or a problem, and thus may play an important role in influencing the degree of learner participation. This proposed study aims to advance the line of research that examines facilitators' influence in promoting learners' participation by analysing their habits of mind. The following habits of mind of the facilitators will be examined: (a) awareness of own thinking, (b) accurate and seeks accuracy, (c) open-minded, (d) taking a position when the situation warrants it, and (e) sensitive to others. We refer the degree of learners' participation as the quantity of message posted by the learners. A case study methodology approach will be used in this study. The primary sources of data will be the online message postings of both the facilitators.
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