Technological Supports for Onsite and Distance Education and Students' Perceptions of Acquisition of Thinking and Team-Building Skills

Technological Supports for Onsite and Distance Education and Students' Perceptions of Acquisition of Thinking and Team-Building Skills

Jennifer D.E. Thomas (Pace University, USA) and Danielle Morin (Concordia University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2010040101
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This paper compares students’ perceptions of support provided in the acquisition of various thinking and team-building skills, resulting from the various activities, resources and technologies (ART) integrated into an upper level Distributed Computing (DC) course. The findings indicate that students perceived strong support for their acquisition of higher-order thinking skills and team-building skills from the offline resources, but moderate support from the online resources and technologies provided in the course, which was in opposition to the grades received. It also seems that those in the traditional computer lab setting perceived online resources as more supportive of higher-order thinking skills than those in other sections and those in the electronic classroom perceived the least support. The results were mixed for team-building skills and for offline resources support for higher-order thinking skills. In particular, distance students deemed the text and material in Blackboard less important for developing these skills than onsite students.
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Understanding learning itself without the additional interjection of technology into the mix is a daunting task, given the complexity and number of dimensions that need to be considered. Ein-Dor identified 5 main and 3 sub-dimensions of knowledge, which can be arrayed along various spectra, see Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Dimensions of knowledge spectra


On the right of the spectra, knowledge is seen to be explicit or easily articulated, therefore more readily available for social or public sharing. This knowledge is often in the realm of declarative knowledge and common-sense knowledge and easily represented in well- defined tasks, or steps – the ‘know what’. This knowledge is usually certain and easily verifiable and measurable.

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