Hull, D. and Saxon, T. (2009) ‘Negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge: An experimental analysis of asynchronous online instruction’ Computers and Education, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 624-639

From the Abstract

The authors examined social interaction resulting from controlled variation in instruction using a counter-balanced design in two professional development courses for teachers….. Using socio-historical constructivist theory to guide instruction interventions, instruction frequency and questioning were intentionally manipulated during one-half of each course. The variations in instruction were hypothesized to promote negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge within both groups. …. The results show that relatively simple alterations in instructional practice (e.g., increasing instructional statements from once to twice per week and engaging participants in dialogue through open-ended questioning) yields a substantially enhanced learning outcome within this environment. Strong evidence suggests that online learning groups depend heavily on instruction to facilitate negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge. …In addition, the study demonstrates the utility of a previously published measure for social interaction in CMC.

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