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WebQuests: A scaffolded learning structure to develop higher order thinking.

Lally, John (2007) WebQuests: A scaffolded learning structure to develop higher order thinking. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Military forces develop skills based on the principles of drill and practice, from a civilian perspective this type of rote learning can also be seen in education where students are taught the skills to successfully pass examinations and not necessarily the skills required to develop a deeper understanding of a subject. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the use of a scaffolded learning structure such as a WebQuest can be used to effectively develop higher order thinking.

This research question will be addressed by reviewing scaffolded learning and WebQuests and how they aid the development of higher order thinking skills. The study will also examine Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain and the use of Social constructivism will be reviewed by forming small groups of subjects and analysing their online discussions through the life-cycle of the study.

The measurement and analysis will be conducted through a number of means both quantitative and qualitative. A pre and post study survey will be given to all students to determine a snap-shot of current trends from which the post-study survey will be compared against later. Students will be required to complete an individual WebQuest which will measure the current level of higher order thinking displayed. These results will be compared to a group WebQuest assignment which will assess the effect of collaboration on the assessment scores.

The results from this study prove that through the use of scaffolded support and collaboration, students can improve their assignment scores by approximately 20% on average. These results also indicate that this method can effectively direct students learning and gain higher order thinking skills moving beyond simple rote learning and towards the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. This method could be considered as an appropriate method for the development of critical thinking skills.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > E-Learning
Divisions: School of Computing > Master of Science in Learning Technologies
Depositing User: SINEAD CORCORAN
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2010 08:28
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 13:12

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