The Influence of Group Size in the Asynchronous Online Discussions on the Development of Critical Thinking Skills, and on Improving Students’ Performance in Online Discussion Forum
Keywords:Asynchronous Online Discussions, group size, critical thinking, students’ per-formance, learning Management System
Asynchronous Online Discussions (AOD) are considered as one of the most ma-jor tools in learning management systems which are used in universities. The ex-ploitation of AODs forums offer students the possibility to teach and learn any-time and anywhere. They also provide students with the time needed to process learning, share ideas and points of view on e-course topics. The group size in the AODs is a substantial variable that affects the interaction and the participation of students. The purpose of our research lays in understanding the influence of the group size participating in the AODs on the development of critical thinking skills in information technology for students of the Faculty of Education, and im-proving students’ performance in online discussion forums. In this research, 103 university students from the bachelor's degree have participated in the study. The participating students are studying the Computer Application in Education Course, and the Education Technology Course on the Blackboard e-learning Management System, during a 15-week semester. The findings of the research have revealed very significant conclusions; and the researcher has come up with various recommendations and suggestions for future studies and further research.
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