Title page for ETD etd-10312011-155643

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Broussard, Jan Elizabeth
URN etd-10312011-155643
Title Student Problem Solving Communication Processes While Completing Multimedia Case Studies: A Look into the Relationship Among Levels of Collaboration, Problem Solving Processes, and Problem Solving Performance on Individual and Group Levels
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lou, Yiping Committee Chair
Mitchell, Roland W Committee Member
Kennedy, Eugene Committee Member
Mbarika, Victor Committee Member
Greckhamer, Thomas Dean's Representative
  • technology
  • case studies
  • problem solving
  • collaboration
Date of Defense 2011-10-21
Availability unrestricted
In an effort to better prepare students to become productive members of the work force, educators must grant students the opportunities to become critical thinkers. Students need to be able to learn to inquire, create, and think critically in order to obtain meaningful information from the abundance of knowledge that is accessible to them through the Internet and the World Wide Web.

This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of online collaborative problem solving processes during a multimedia case study.

Sixty-one students in two undergraduate management information systems classes agreed to participate. The experimental class, section 01, was required to use the online collaboration forum to discuss the multimedia Powertel Case Study with their group members, while the control class, section 02, was not. Analyses were run to determine any differences in the two sections on actual learning, perceived learning, and attitudes toward MIS. This study also investigated the problem solving process in the online discussion forum and the relationships of that process with actual and perceived learning, as well as attitudes toward MIS.

Results of the study indicate that there were no significant differences in the media used to communicate with each other in collaborative groups, but instead the difference resulted from the depth and breadth of the contributions. For those students who participated in the online collaboration forum, it was clear that the better the students were at participating in the discussion forum, the more positive their attitude toward MIS became and the more confident they became in their own abilities concerning MIS.

This research indicates that the students increased their actual learning and reported positive evaluations of the Powertel Case Study. Students reported that the case study was useful in improving higher order thinking skills. Multimedia case studies used in the MIS classes, therefore, can provide a venue for students to improve the teamwork and higher order thinking skills needed upon entering the workforce.

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