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Facilitating the development of complex thinking skills in a Web-based learning environment : a design experiment

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. D. van der Westhuizen; Prof. A.E. de Swardt en_US
dc.contributor.author Botha, Jean
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-27T09:54:25Z
dc.date.available 2012-02-27T09:54:25Z
dc.date.issued 2012-02-27
dc.date.submitted 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4397
dc.description D.Ed. en_US
dc.description.abstract Web-based learning as an emerging new paradigm requires that instructional practitioners rethink instructional approaches, focuses and strategies to facilitate learning effectively. Together with Web-based learning, the role of thinking development in learning evolved to become major focuses in the educational arena and outcomes-based education initiatives introduced in South Africa have also placed instructional approaches to learning and complex thinking as vital components under the spotlight. Furthermore, there has been limited research - in the South African context - focusing on the link between complex thinking skills and the implementation of Web-based learning. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of instructional strategies employed in a Web-based learning model designed to develop complex thinking skills in post-graduate learners. To do this, it was necessary to establish a theoretical framework for the study. Through a literature study, the essential characteristics of complex thinking were examined and criteria derived; possible instructional strategies to enhance complex thinking were thoroughly researched and a set of criteria derived; the contribution of Web-based learning to the learning process was researched and a set of criteria derived. A Web-based learning course for post-graduate learners was then designed according to these criteria. Specifically this research sought to investigate the types of complex thinking skills evident while learners interacted in the Web-based learning environment; which instructional strategies employed in the learning programme enhanced complex thinking and learning; how the Web-based learning activities contributed to the learning process. The research took the form of an interpretive, qualitative study. The major methods of data collection were observation and documents retrieved from the Web of all the Web-based learning activities. Data were analysed using techniques of qualitative analysis recommended by Bogdan and Biklen, (1992:116), Creswell (1994:155), Marshall and Rossman (1995:85), Maxwell (1992:295), Miles and Huberman (1994:181) and Tesch (1990:97). The findings suggest that instructional strategies can be successfully incorporated for the facilitation of complex thinking. When implemented with all the criteria defined in the design, it appears to provide an effective framework for the design of a Web-based learning environment for the acquisition of complex thinking and learning. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Computer-assisted instruction en_US
dc.subject Internet in education en_US
dc.subject Thought and thinking en_US
dc.title Facilitating the development of complex thinking skills in a Web-based learning environment : a design experiment en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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