Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30172
Using Weblog to Promote Critical Thinking – An Exploratory Study

Authors: Huay Lit Woo, Qiyun Wang

Abstract:

Weblog is an Internet tool that is believed to possess great potential to facilitate learning in education. This study wants to know if weblog can be used to promote students- critical thinking. It used a group of secondary two students from a Singapore school to write weblogs as a means of substitution for their traditional handwritten assignments. The topics for the weblogging are taken from History syllabus but modified to suit the purpose of this study. Weblogs from the students were collected and analysed using a known coding system for measuring critical thinking. Results show that the topic for blogging is crucial in determining the types of critical thinking employed by the students. Students are seen to display critical thinking traits in the areas of information sourcing, linking information to arguments and viewpoints justification. Students- criticalness is more profound when the information for writing a topic is readily available. Otherwise, they tend to be less critical and subjective. The study also found that students lack the ability to source for external information suggesting that students may need to be taught information literacy in order to widen their use of critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Affordance, blog, critical thinking, perception, weblog.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1327897

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1766

References:


[1] E. Brownstein and R. Klein, "Blogs: Applications in science education," Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 18-22, 2006.
[2] J. Cradler, M. McNabb, M. Freeman, and R. Burchett, "How does technology influence student learning?" Learning & Leading with Technology, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 46-56, 2002.
[3] J. J. Gibson, "The theory of affordance." in Perceiving, acting and knowing, R. Shaw and J. Bransford, Eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 67-82, 1977.
[4] W. W. Gaver, "Technology affordances." in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems: Reaching through technology, Louisiana, USA, pp. 79-84, 1991.
[5] J. Guiller, A. Durndell, and A. Ross, "Peer interaction and critical thinking: face-to-face or online discussion?" Learning and Instruction, vol. 18, pp. 187-200, 2007.
[6] H. Hirumi, "Student-centered, technology-rich learning environments (SCenTRLE): Operationalizing constructivist approaches to teaching and learning." Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 497-537, 2002.
[7] P. John, and R. Sutherland, "Affordance, opportunity and the pedagogical implication of ICT." Educational Review, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 405-413, 2005.
[8] T. Kelleher, and B. M. Miller, "Organizational blogs and the human voice: Relational strategies and relational outcomes." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 11, pp. 395-414, 2006.
[9] S. M. Land and M. J. Hannafin, "Student-centered learning environments." in Theoretical foundations of learning environments, D. H. Jonassen and S.M. Land, Eds. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 1-23, 2000.
[10] J. Lau. (2008, August 5). A mini guide to critical thinking. A project by the University of Hong Kong, 2003. Available: http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/misc/miniguide.pdf.
[11] K. Lois, Beyond buzz: The next generation of word-of-mouth marketing. NY: AMACOM, 2007.
[12] R. M. Marra, J. L. Moore, and A. K. Klimczak, "Content analysis of online discussion forums: A comparative analysis of protocols." Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 23-40, 2004.
[13] MOE. (2008, August 5). Ministry of Education, Singapore. History syllabus: Lower secondary, 2006. Available: http://www.moe.edu.sg/education/syllabuses/humanities-andaesthetics/ files/history-lower-secondary-2006.pdf.
[14] D. R. Newman, B. Webb, and C. Cochrane. (2008, June 28) A content analysis method to measure critical thinking in face-to-face and computer supported group learning, 1996. Available: http://www.qub.ac.uk/mgt/papers/methods/contpap.html.
[15] D. A. Norman, The psychology of everyday things. NY: Basic Books, 1988.
[16] R. Paul, Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world (2nd ed.), Santa Rosa, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 1992.
[17] S. Staib, "Teaching and measuring critical thinking." Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 42, no. 11,pp. 498-508, 2003.
[18] G. M. Stiler and T. Philleo, "Blogging and blogspots: An alternative format for encouraging reflective practice among preservice teachers." Education, vol. 123, no. 4, pp. 789-797, 2003.
[19] H. D. Tan, "Singapore teachers- characterization of historical interpretation and enquiry: Enhancing pedagogy and pupils- historical understanding." presented at the AARE Educational Research Conference, Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Australia. 2005.
[20] B. Torff, "Expert teachers- beliefs about use of critical thinking activities with high- and low-advantage learners." Teacher Education Quarterly, pp. 37-52, 2006.
[21] K. D. Trammell and R. E. Ferdig, "Pedagogical implications of classroom blogging." Academic Exchange Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 60-64, 2004.
[22] L. Tsui, "Fostering critical thinking through effective pedagogy: Evidence from four institutional case studies." The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 740-763, 2002.
[23] J. Vandermensbrugghe, "The unbearable vagueness of critical thinking in the context of the anglo-saxonisation of education." International Education Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 417-422, 2004.
[24] R. M. Wallace, "A framework for understanding teaching with the internet." American Educational Research Journal, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 447-488, 2004.
[25] Q. Y. Wang and H. L. Woo, "Affordances and innovative uses of weblogs for teaching and learning." in New Education Technology, R. Kobayashi, Ed. NY: Nova Publishers, pp. 183-199, 2008.
[26] Q. Y. Wang and H. L. Woo, "Investigating critical thinking and knowledge construction in an interactive learning environment." Interactive Learning Environment., to be published.