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Article

Lisa Weltzer‐Ward, Beate Baltes and Laura Knight Lynn

The purpose of this paper is to describe a theoretically based coding framework for an integrated analysis and assessment of critical thinking in online discussion.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a theoretically based coding framework for an integrated analysis and assessment of critical thinking in online discussion.

Design/methodology/approach

The critical thinking assessment framework (TAF) is developed through review of theory and previous research, verified by comparing results to previous research, and checked for reliability by comparing results for multiple coders.

Findings

Although process, structure, and quality of online discussions are assessed independently, a standard framework integrating these aspects for comprehensive assessment of critical thinking in online discussions is not found in literature review. The critical TAF described here offers a reliable and valid tool for integrating process, structure, and quality to assess critical thinking in online discussions.

Research/limitations/implications

The critical TAF serves as a methodological tool for assessing critical thinking in online discussion. Further research should further assess the validity and reliability of this tool and should integrate the framework with assessments for other aspects of discussion such as social or instructor presence.

Practical implications

The implementation of the critical TAF in future studies will ultimately help identify online educational activities and tools which best support development and application of critical thinking skills. Furthermore, it might be used to assess critical thinking of individual participants or small groups in a discussion.

Originality/value

The critical TAF described in this paper provides a valid and reliable tool for integrated assessment of the process, structure, and quality of critical thinking in online discussions.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article

Jennifer Beckmann and Peter Weber

The purpose of this study is to introduce a virtual collaborative learning setting called “Net Economy”, which we established as part of an international learning network…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce a virtual collaborative learning setting called “Net Economy”, which we established as part of an international learning network of currently six universities, and present our approach to continuously improve the course in each cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the community of inquiry framework as guidance and canonical action research (CAR) as the chosen research design, the discussion forum of the online course is assessed regarding its critical thinking value. We thereby measure critical thinking with the help of the according model provided by Newman et al. (1995), which differentiates 40 indicators of critical thinking from 10 different categories.

Findings

The calculated critical thinking ratios for the analyzed two discussion threads indicate a strong use of outside knowledge, intensive justification and critical assessment of posts by the students. But at the same time, there are also weak spots, like manifold repetitions. Based on these results, we derive changes for the next course cycle to improve the critical thinking of the students.

Originality/value

A comparison of the results after the next course cycle will then allow us to assess the effects of the implemented changes, which would not be possible without a critical thinking diagnosis approach.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

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Article

Michèle Schoenberger-Orgad and Dorothy Spiller

Educating the students to be capable practitioners for the future suggests that teachers be visionaries and futurologists to identify the skills required for the…

Abstract

Purpose

Educating the students to be capable practitioners for the future suggests that teachers be visionaries and futurologists to identify the skills required for the communication needs of society. The purpose of this paper is to argue for a sustainable curriculum – one that meets the needs of the present and prepares students to meet the demands of the future. Such a curriculum identifies the importance of developing student capability in critical thinking and in research methodology. It is an approach in which discussion, research activities and peer assessment can help to develop these dispositions and prepare students for effective participation in work and society for the long term.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the pedagogical literature on discussion-led learning for critical inquiry and the use of peer review and feedback to provide the theoretical framework for the paper. Response data were collected from a postgraduate public relations (PR) class where two initiatives were introduced.

Findings

Student responses to discussion-led inquiry and peer review were positive and provided an excellent basis for ongoing critical practice in the workplace. By encouraging criticality through small interventions at the undergraduate level, postgraduate and entry-level practitioners will sustain strong critical thinking abilities to apply in the work place.

Research limitations/implications

The initiatives were introduced in one year and reviewed and adapted for the second iteration. The postgraduate classes are small which limits the implications of the research recommendations and conclusions.

Practical implications

By modelling the discussion process in class and encouraging students to articulate their thoughts and arguments, teachers are able to introduce learning moments and opportunities which can lead to further discussion. By these means, students learn to evaluate arguments and make ethical judgments about the practice of PR in a variety of different contexts.

Social implications

Practising critical thinking skills, alongside the tactical vocational skills, provide future practitioners with the ability to extend their creativity in search of practical solutions to issues faced by society and organizations in the twenty-first century. University-educated graduates of PR can make a strong, ethical and creative contribution to society through constant questioning of basic assumptions and through their curiosity about power balances and issues. They will embrace technological innovation as another tool in the PR toolkit to engage stakeholders in creative ways.

Originality/value

By using a range of pedagogical strategies, it is possible for teachers to promote a critically informed approach to practice. Students learn to question basic assumptions and biases and to develop strong intellectual skills. These, in turn, will provide the basis for ethical communication practices and contribute to new and creative ways of thinking about society and its communication needs.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article

Shin-ying Huang

This paper aims to examine language learners’ critical multimodal literacy practices with a moving-image text, focusing on text comprehension and interpretation rather…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine language learners’ critical multimodal literacy practices with a moving-image text, focusing on text comprehension and interpretation rather than text production. It takes a critical perspective towards multimodality and proposes the simultaneous emphasis on critical and multimodal literacies.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative teacher-inquiry adopts critical multimodal literacy as the framework for understanding learners’ literacy practices. The course implementation highlights images, sounds and words as encompassing the five modes of visual, aural, linguistic, gestural and spatial (Arola et al., 2014) in emphasizing the multimodal in critical multimodal literacy, and the purposeful organization of the images, sounds and words as reflecting the critical in critical multimodal literacy. The analysis also adopts Serafini’s (2010) concentric perceptual, structural and ideological perspectives as the tenets of critical multimodal literacy.

Findings

The findings show that focusing on images, sounds, words and their purposeful organization enabled the students to critically examine a moving-image text through considerations for the multiple modes and arriving at the structural and ideological interpretive perspectives.

Originality/value

This study fills a gap in the literature, as very little research has been done to investigate the ways in which language learners engage with, that is, comprehend and interpret, moving-image multimodal texts. In addition, it presents a critical multimodal literacy framework based on Serafini’s (2010) tripartite perspectives and offers pedagogical suggestions for incorporating critical multimodal literacy in language classrooms.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Book part

Melissa Schieble and Jody Polleck

English teacher candidates have limited opportunities to examine classroom-based discussions about LGBTQ-themed texts and heteronormativity in teacher education courses…

Abstract

English teacher candidates have limited opportunities to examine classroom-based discussions about LGBTQ-themed texts and heteronormativity in teacher education courses. This chapter presents one effort to address this issue using a video-based field experience in the English Methods course that demonstrated a critical unit of instruction about the play, Angels in America. The chapter provides a description of the project and English teacher candidates’ perspectives about what they learned for English educators interested in devising similar projects for their courses.

Details

Innovations in English Language Arts Teacher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-050-9

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Article

Elaine Swan

The purpose of this paper is to ask how we can think about critical reflection as a pedagogical practice given the “confessional turn”. By the “confessional turn” the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ask how we can think about critical reflection as a pedagogical practice given the “confessional turn”. By the “confessional turn” the author refers to the idea that “subjective, autobiographical and confessional modes of expression” have expanded exponentially across a wide range of social spheres, including education, the legal system, the media and the workplace. Examining these developments, this paper asks what these debates on critical reflection and confession mean for pedagogical practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The main approach is a review of key debates in the literature on critical reflection and also in the wider social sciences.

Findings

The discussion compares different debates. Thus it shows that for critics, the turn to the “first person” technologies is narcissistic, psychologistic and de‐politicising. On this view, critical reflective practice might be understood as an individualistic and individualising pedagogy in spite of its claims to be critical. The paper discusses how in contrast, others see this move to talk about the subjective and the self as an extension of the feminist project of the personal is political – i.e. that personal stories, feelings and issues have social and political roots and consequences. For them, reflection can be critical, leading to political consciousness‐raising, i.e. a new awareness about social, political and personal processes. It finishes by examining the view that the idea of reflexivity might help us out of the conflict between these debates.

Practical implications

The paper poses a number of questions in relation to critical reflection that can be taken up by practitioners in the field.

Originality/value of paper

The paper brings new literature to bear on the practice of critical reflection and raises important questions relevant to academics and practitioners.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Book part

Lionel C. Howard and Arshad I. Ali

In this chapter, we propose a blended methodological approach (critical) educational ethnography, to address problems of education. The chapter includes a brief overview…

Abstract

In this chapter, we propose a blended methodological approach (critical) educational ethnography, to address problems of education. The chapter includes a brief overview of critical and educational ethnography, which inform the methodology, followed by a discussion of the essential elements and pedagogical objectives that undergird and operationalize the methodology. The essential elements include articulating a critical context, defining and understanding culture, establishing relationships and embeddedness, and multiple ways of knowing. Rather than articulate a curriculum and content for teaching (critical) educational ethnography, pedagogical objectives are provided to support the development of novice researchers (i.e., doctoral students, researchers-in-training).

Details

New Directions in Educational Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-623-2

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Article

Natalie Amgott

The purpose of this paper is to explore the intersection between critical literacy and digital activism. Critical literacy is a form of instruction that teaches students…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the intersection between critical literacy and digital activism. Critical literacy is a form of instruction that teaches students to question power structures and societal injustices, while digital activism introduces methods for individuals and groups to use digital tools to effect social and political change. This review argues that digital literacy is the natural partner to pedagogical approaches informed by critical literacy, which attempts to uncover, address, question and solve social problems.

Design/methodology/approach

An illustrative example of collaborative student choice and action is offered through a multimedia project with actionable hashtags for sharing online. The paper concludes with a discussion of how educators can foster more collaborative choice and action by intertwining critical and digital literacies at all levels of education. However, implementation and application of these ideas lies not only with educators and administrators, but most importantly, with students themselves.

Findings

In order for students to be most prepared for meaningful interactions in the global and digital world, critical literacy, digital literacy and digital activism must become a core part of classroom instruction. Multimedia projects that are easily sharable and can track analytics are a successful way to raise consciousness and advocate for local and global action.

Originality/value

The powerful instructional practices that link critical and digital literacies provide students with the skills to continue questioning multiple viewpoints and promoting social justice issues within and beyond classroom walls.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

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Article

Anneli Hujala, Sanna Laulainen and Kajsa Lindberg

– The purpose of this paper is to provide background to this special issue and consider how critically oriented research can be applied to health and social care management.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide background to this special issue and consider how critically oriented research can be applied to health and social care management.

Design/methodology/approach

Basic principles of critical management studies are introduced briefly to frame subsequent papers in this issue.

Findings

In order to identify the wicked problems and darker sides of the care field, there is a need to study things in alternative ways through critical lenses. Giving a voice to those in less powerful positions may result in redefinition and redesign of conventional roles and agency of patients, volunteers and professionals and call into question the taken-for-granted understanding of health and social care management.

Originality/value

The special issue as a whole was designed to enhance critical approaches to the discussion in the field of health and social care. This editorial hopefully raises awareness of CMS and serves as an opening for further discussion on critical views in the research on management and organization in this field.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article

Rebecca Colina Neri

Nondominant youth faces complex structural inequalities and injustices that have a direct impact on their academic learning outcomes and psychosocial well-being. Research…

Abstract

Purpose

Nondominant youth faces complex structural inequalities and injustices that have a direct impact on their academic learning outcomes and psychosocial well-being. Research suggests that supporting the development of students’ critical consciousness not only improves their educational and career trajectories but also provides students with the tools, language and skills they need to examine, act upon and heal from the sociopolitical realities and injustices they face in their daily lives.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports findings from a two-year Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) study conducted with students in a police-oriented Career and Technical Education program. YPAR was used as pedagogy for nondominant students to explore how to leverage their funds of knowledge (FK) in their learning and future careers as police officers to improve community–police relations.

Findings

This paper reports on one aspect of the findings from the YPAR project that includes: a) the relationship between students’ difficult FK, critical consciousness development and career aspirations; b) how, if left unaddressed, students’ difficult FK could mediate deficit and internally oppressive views of Communities of Color and other nondominant groups; and c) the power of transforming students’ difficult FK into pedagogical assets.

Originality/value

Engaging students’ difficult FK can support critical consciousness development and facilitate students’ ability to navigate and resist oppressive spaces, sustain their well-being and empower themselves and their families and communities.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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