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postgraduate thesis: Investigating the role of personal epistemology in students' participation in computer supported collaborative learning discourses

TitleInvestigating the role of personal epistemology in students' participation in computer supported collaborative learning discourses
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Law, NWY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yuen, K. J. [袁國麟]. (2013). Investigating the role of personal epistemology in students' participation in computer supported collaborative learning discourses. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194783
AbstractThis research investigates what impact (if any) do personal epistemology (PE) have on individual’s engagement and ideas progression when engaged in a CSCL discourse designed to stimulate knowledge building (KB) (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003). Through literature review, this thesis sets out with an assumption that a learner’s engagement in a collaborative learning discourse is influenced by three kinds of beliefs: nature of knowledge, how learning takes place, and quality criteria for good knowledge. Reflective judgment (RJ), i.e. network of beliefs on knowledge and knowing underpinning personal judgments on ill-structured issues (Kitchener & King, 2002), is the key PE construct underpinning this study. Further, it is believed that the extent to which an individual pursues explanatory coherence (EC) (Thagard, 1989) when engaged in a CSCL discourse reflects his/her beliefs about the quality criteria for good knowledge. The empirical part of this study was undertaken in a grade 8 class involving 32 students over a 12-weeks period. Students worked in groups on an integrated-humanities module to develop proposals for new tourist attractions in Hong Kong. Students were encouraged to use Knowledge Forum® (KF) for online collaborative discussions throughout different inquiry stages of the module. A questionnaire instrument was designed and administered to assess students’ RJ. Using this instrument, fifteen students were identified as pre-reflective and seventeen as quasi-reflective. Independent-samples t-tests on students’ participatory statistics in KF show that quasi-reflective students’ usage of two metacognitive-oriented KF features, scaffolds and note revision, were significantly more frequent than pre-reflective students (p<=.05). Four qualitative indicators for RJ were developed to assess epistemic properties of all written notes students contributed on KF: purpose of the note, type of query raised, structure of claims, and basis for justification. The first two reflect disposition and the other two reflect argumentative rigor of a note. No statistically significant difference in the mean of epistemic properties contributed by students at different RJ levels was found. In average, students are disposed towards contributing argumentative notes and raise explanatory questions in the online collaborative discourse. Furthermore, student’s contributions are mainly justified on idiosyncratic basis. The study further investigates whether individual’s EC seeking notes in threads reflects his/her beliefs about quality criteria for good knowledge, and how EC seeking affects ideas progression. Qualitative analysis of threads show students sought EC on ideas and the inquiry process through raising concerns about contextual issues, challenging causal views, task-space evaluation, and methodological evaluation. In many threads analyzed quasi-reflective students were the initiator of EC seeking. They are also active contributors of argumentative build-ons that contribute towards changes in view among peers. Independent-samples t-tests suggest that quasi-reflective students have contributed significantly more notes that sought EC about contextual issues than pre-reflective students (p=.016). To conclude, epistemic properties of notes contributed and individual’s EC seeking acts provide preliminary evidence to support the notion that RJ and individual’s beliefs about quality criteria for good knowledge influence engagement and ideas progression in CSCL. Further studies on using developmental PE theories to study learner’s beliefs and engagement in KB discourse are recommended.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectKnowledge, Theory of
Group work in education - Computer-assisted instruction
Educational psychology
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197538

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLaw, NWY-
dc.contributor.authorYuen, Kwok-lun, Johnny-
dc.contributor.author袁國麟-
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-27T23:16:42Z-
dc.date.available2014-05-27T23:16:42Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationYuen, K. J. [袁國麟]. (2013). Investigating the role of personal epistemology in students' participation in computer supported collaborative learning discourses. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5194783-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197538-
dc.description.abstractThis research investigates what impact (if any) do personal epistemology (PE) have on individual’s engagement and ideas progression when engaged in a CSCL discourse designed to stimulate knowledge building (KB) (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003). Through literature review, this thesis sets out with an assumption that a learner’s engagement in a collaborative learning discourse is influenced by three kinds of beliefs: nature of knowledge, how learning takes place, and quality criteria for good knowledge. Reflective judgment (RJ), i.e. network of beliefs on knowledge and knowing underpinning personal judgments on ill-structured issues (Kitchener & King, 2002), is the key PE construct underpinning this study. Further, it is believed that the extent to which an individual pursues explanatory coherence (EC) (Thagard, 1989) when engaged in a CSCL discourse reflects his/her beliefs about the quality criteria for good knowledge. The empirical part of this study was undertaken in a grade 8 class involving 32 students over a 12-weeks period. Students worked in groups on an integrated-humanities module to develop proposals for new tourist attractions in Hong Kong. Students were encouraged to use Knowledge Forum® (KF) for online collaborative discussions throughout different inquiry stages of the module. A questionnaire instrument was designed and administered to assess students’ RJ. Using this instrument, fifteen students were identified as pre-reflective and seventeen as quasi-reflective. Independent-samples t-tests on students’ participatory statistics in KF show that quasi-reflective students’ usage of two metacognitive-oriented KF features, scaffolds and note revision, were significantly more frequent than pre-reflective students (p<=.05). Four qualitative indicators for RJ were developed to assess epistemic properties of all written notes students contributed on KF: purpose of the note, type of query raised, structure of claims, and basis for justification. The first two reflect disposition and the other two reflect argumentative rigor of a note. No statistically significant difference in the mean of epistemic properties contributed by students at different RJ levels was found. In average, students are disposed towards contributing argumentative notes and raise explanatory questions in the online collaborative discourse. Furthermore, student’s contributions are mainly justified on idiosyncratic basis. The study further investigates whether individual’s EC seeking notes in threads reflects his/her beliefs about quality criteria for good knowledge, and how EC seeking affects ideas progression. Qualitative analysis of threads show students sought EC on ideas and the inquiry process through raising concerns about contextual issues, challenging causal views, task-space evaluation, and methodological evaluation. In many threads analyzed quasi-reflective students were the initiator of EC seeking. They are also active contributors of argumentative build-ons that contribute towards changes in view among peers. Independent-samples t-tests suggest that quasi-reflective students have contributed significantly more notes that sought EC about contextual issues than pre-reflective students (p=.016). To conclude, epistemic properties of notes contributed and individual’s EC seeking acts provide preliminary evidence to support the notion that RJ and individual’s beliefs about quality criteria for good knowledge influence engagement and ideas progression in CSCL. Further studies on using developmental PE theories to study learner’s beliefs and engagement in KB discourse are recommended.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshKnowledge, Theory of-
dc.subject.lcshGroup work in education - Computer-assisted instruction-
dc.subject.lcshEducational psychology-
dc.titleInvestigating the role of personal epistemology in students' participation in computer supported collaborative learning discourses-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5194783-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5194783-

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