This study examined the relationships between the level and structure of question prompts and the levels of critical thinking demonstrated by students’ responses in 19 online discussions. Discussion question types were classified using Andrews’ typology (1980) and question and response levels were classified using Bloom’s taxonomy (1956). Ninety-two discussion prompts and the associated transcripts of students’ responses from 19 discussion forums were coded and classified using Bloom’s taxonomy. The results of our comparison between question types (Andrews) and question levels (Bloom) failed to show a direct relationship, suggesting that instructors can use similar question types (e.g., brainstorming) to facilitate different levels of critical thinking. In general, higher levels of questions were found to facilitate higher levels of students’ responses. Among the nine Andrews’ question types, analytic convergent, focal, and lower divergent questions resulted in the greatest percentage of responses at the highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy while general invitation and brainstorm questions resulted in the greatest number of responses at the lowest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Implications are provided for instructors who are looking for general guidelines regarding how to structure online discussion prompts to elicit high quality responses.
|Keywords:||Online Discussions, Question Prompts, Critical Thinking|
Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Associate Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
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