Pifarré, M., Guijosa, A., and Argelagós, E. (2014)
E-Learning and Digital Media, 11(1), 72-87.
Understanding how blogs can support collaborative learning is an important concern for researchers and teachers. This paper explores how blogs may be used to support Secondary Education students’ collaborative interaction and how such an interaction process can promote the creation of a Community of Inquiry to enhance critical thinking and meaningful learning.
A science case-based project was designed, implemented and evaluated in which fifteen secondary students participated. Students worked in the science blogging project during 4 months. Students were asked to collaboratively be engaged in purposeful critical discourse and reflection in their blogs in order to solve collectively science challenges and construct meaning about topics related to Astronomy and Space Sciences.
Through studying students’ comments posted in the blog, our findings showed that the blog environment afforded the construction of a Community of Inquiry and therefore the creation of an effective on-line collaborative learning community. In students’ blog comments the three presences for collaborative learning took place: cognitive, social, and teaching presence. Moreover, our research found a positive correlation between the three presences –cognitive, social and teaching- of the Community of Inquiry model with the level of learning obtained by the students.
A series of issues that instructors should consider when blogs are incorporated into teaching and learning are discussed. We claim that embedded scaffolds to help students to argue and reason their comments in the blog are required to foster blog-supported collaborative learning.
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