Scaffolding online peer collaboration to enhance ill-structured problem solving with computer-based cognitive support
Kui Xie, The University of Oklahoma, United States
The University of Oklahoma . Awarded
The present study investigated the effects of question prompts and online peer collaborations on solving ill-structured problems. Sixty undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups: collaboration with question prompts, individual with question prompts, collaboration without question prompts, and individual without question prompts. Question prompts were designed to both facilitate problem solving procedure and promote students' metacognition. Students worked either individually or collaboratively with partners via MSN Messenger during the problem solving processes.
The results reveal significant effects of procedure and metacognitive question prompts in ill-structured problem solving at both overall and univariate levels. However, there was no significant effect of online peer collaboration and no significant interaction. This study supported some previous research on using question prompts as a scaffolding strategy to support problem solving. Further, these findings support a redefined IDEAL problem solving model for solving ill-structured problems. The findings suggest many implications for instructional designers, educators in web-based learning environments, and educational researchers. These implications and the limitations of this study are discussed.
Xie, K. Scaffolding online peer collaboration to enhance ill-structured problem solving with computer-based cognitive support. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Oklahoma.
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