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Prompting conceptual understanding with computer-mediated peer discourse and knowledge acquisition techniques

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Numerous computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools have been designed to facilitate group discourses on the Web. However, previous studies noted that participants did not value online conferencing as a method for conducting in-depth discussions, and instead considered this method as merely scratching the surface of the issues involved. Therefore, the teachers must moderate the online discourse to add value to the success of CMC. This study presents a methodology that uses knowledge acquisition techniques during online discourses to increase student conceptual understanding and evaluation skills. The methodology explains the conceptual frameworks of individuals and the conceptual relationships between student peers. Active database triggers then are applied to automatically monitor the conceptual relationships and to moderate online discourses between student peers. Student reactions demonstrated that discourses mediated by the repertory grid analysis technique helped group members not only promote common conceptual understandings but also to approach the level of conceptual understanding of the teacher.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2005

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