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Goals Classification

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Preliminary Findings: Goals Classification Classification Scheme The goals reported in the case studies can be classified into five major groups; collaboration, discussion, community, student control, and critical thinking. A final catch-all group called “miscellaneous” was used to group four “singlet” goal statements that did not fit well with any other. The exact wording of learning goals varied within each category, sometimes substantially. However, even with varied terminology, the goals within each category were quite consistent. Comprehensive classifications for each case can be found in the “Case Analysis Data” report. Below, each goal classification category is explained and exemplified. Collaboration Most cases (16 of 30) included the goal of student collaboration at some level, either student-student, student-instructor, or student-outside expert. These goals were stated approximately 16 different ways. Only four examples are included here. • Students are actively engaged in regular small group learning interactions. (C129) • Students develop shared meaning. (C103) • Students will collaborate as they complete a group project. (C112) • Students will collaborate on learning activities with their peers. (C120) • Other cases reporting collaboration goals include: C101, C102, C104, C106, C111, C119, C121, C122, C123, C125, C126, C127, and C128. Discussion Many cases (11 of 30) included the goal of student discussion, either student-student, student-instructor, or student-outside expert. Goal statements that specifically addressed dialogue were classified in the discussion group, since dialogue and discussion are essentially the same in this setting. “Dialogue” and “discussion” are more similar than they are different. As with the collaboration group, discussion goals were stated many different ways. Only four examples are included here. • All students will participate in course discussions. (C116) • Students contribute freely and openly to class discussions. (C105) • Students will engage in dialogue with each other. (C110) • Students will engage in dialogue with their peers and the instructor. (C106) • Other cases reporting discussion goals include: C102, C111, C118, C121, C124, C126, C129, and C130. Community Many cases (7 of 30) included the goal of establishing or enhancing a sense of learning community. Goal statements that specifically addressed supporting each other, sharing personal insights, and such were classified as community goals, since these results tend to build a sense of community. As with the other groups, community goals were stated many different ways. Only four examples are included here. • Create a thoughtful online learning community. (C108) • Students build trusting and caring relationships with each other. (C115)• Students are part of a learning community that extends beyond the formal class members. (C129) • Students will form connections to the established community of practice in a content area. (C107) • Other cases reporting community goals include: C105, C113, and C124. Student Control Several cases (4 of 30) included the goal of allowing students to retain some level of control over their own learning process(es). Goal statements that specifically addressed ownership were classified as student control goals as well, since ownership usually implies control. Specific student control goals include: • Learner's retain some control over the design and content of their learning. (C101) • Students access learning material in the manner most convenient to them. (C114) • Students control part of the learning process. (C102) • Students will experience "ownership" of group discussions. (C124) Critical Thinking A few cases (3 of 30) included the goal of building critical thinking skills in students. Specific critical thinking goals include: • Students will develop critical thinking skills. (C109) • Students will think critically about course content. (C116) • Students will reflect thoughtfully about their own learning. (C117) Critical Thinking Finally, there were a few goal statements that did not fit well with any other statement. These goals were classified as miscellaneous.. Specific miscellaneous goals include: • Students will receive individual help from the instructor. (C126) • Students will resolve conflicts of opinion among their peers. (C125) • Create self-sufficient information users. (C107) • Students will experience a "virtual" classroom learning environment.


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