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Raising the Bar: Encouraging High Level Thinking in Online Discussion Forums

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Roeper Review Volume 26, Number 3, ISSN 0278-3193


More universities are offering online instruction for students though we know little about effective online learning. Some have found online instruction increases student participation while others have reported that students prefer the traditional face-to-face format. This study of gifted education graduate students follows the expectation that online students ought to have time to be more thoughtful with online course interactions as compared to the time-constrained interactions in a face-to-face course. Researchers evaluated students' thinking levels (as per Bloom's Taxonomy) in the online discussion forums required by a graduate course in gifted education. Results indicate there was no relationship between the level of the prompt and the level of the responses. Higher level prompts did not necessarily generate higher level responses. The research-developed Rubric for Evaluation of Online Discussions can be used both as an instructional guide and as an evaluation rubric to assess the level of online discussions.


Christopher, M.M., Thomas, J.A. & Tallent-Runnels, M.K. (2004). Raising the Bar: Encouraging High Level Thinking in Online Discussion Forums. Roeper Review, 26(3),. Retrieved November 29, 2023 from .

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