Capstone Project – Year 1 dissertation

This page serves as a hosting page for the artefacts included in my Capstone project – “Scaffolding first steps to critical thinking using a social networking interface”.

There were 13 participants in total, 7 female and 6 male.  All participants were over 18 and were recruited using snowball and opportunist methods.

Participants were briefed regarding the time commitment for the research project, provided with a project summary and asked to sign a consent form.  They were then invited to join a closed Facebook group which provided the scaffolding for the delivery of the learning experienced on a phased basis.

They were asked for their initial opinion via SurveyMonkey on a topic.  Participants were not given any background information.  They were asked to post their opinion on Facebook.

Participants were then shown a video on the topic, the video presented a balanced view point and participants were asked for their opinion again and this time they were asked to justify their opinion with supporting research.  As access to YouTube is not permitted in some academic locations and also the viewer is often subjected to advertising and other unrelated clips; these links were embedded in the Facebook group to prevent distractions.

Participants were also shown a video on critical thinking skills and were provided with a checklist for self reflection regarding critical thinking. They were encouraged to research the topic, review the initial video and evaluate if they felt their opinion had changed.  They were encouraged to post their findings on the group page.

Participants were then provided with a checklist to evaluate the validity of information found on the internet and reflect on whether or not their research was based on critical thinking and if the information they found complied with the checklist.

Participants were asked to complete a final survey comprising Likert scale questions with free form text boxes to allow for further comments, feedback and opinions.

A sample group of participants was selected at random and based on availability to take part in semi-structured interviews which allowed for further probing of the learning experience.

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