Overview of Using Vignettes to Develop Higher Order Thinking and Academic Achievement in Adult Learners in an Online Learning Environment

Overview of Using Vignettes to Develop Higher Order Thinking and Academic Achievement in Adult Learners in an Online Learning Environment

Maria H.Z. Kish (Duquesne University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-922-9.ch011
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Abstract

A challenge in teaching and providing any type of instruction in the online learning environment is to ensure that participants are engaged in the process and find meaning in their learning. This case study investigated the use of vignettes as a teaching strategy and learning activity of the Generative Learning Model in a hybrid online course. Vignettes are short and realistic stories that may help bridge participants’ previous experiences to applying course material in relevant situations. The Generative Learning Model, consisting of five main components: attention, motivation, knowledge, generation, and metacognition (Wittrock, 2000), was incorporated when requiring students to answer teacher-generated vignettes and to generate their own vignettes. Two outcomes were anticipated using vignettes within the Generative Learning Model in a hybrid online course: 1) enhancement of academic achievement and 2) higher order thinking . This study considered data from student work collected from the Instructional Techniques Course, GITED 631, taught in the Graduate School of Education at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 2003. Eight participants responded to teacher-generated vignettes, created diagrams and rubrics, created their own vignettes, and recorded their observations concerning vignettes in reflective learning logs. The adult online learners in this study professionally focused on teaching children and adults. This study’s participants all professionally focused on teaching children and adults. The research findings indicate that the use of teacher-generated vignettes can increase academic achievement, and that learner-generated vignettes can help students achieve higher order thinking. This article also discusses the methods that have been used to teach adult learners how to respond to and create vignettes for their own teaching and presentation purposes.

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