Wichadee

Students’ Learning Behavior, Motivation and Critical Thinking in Learning Management Systems

Saovapa Wichadee, Language Institute, Bangkok University, Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract

Computer mediated communication (CMC) offers new opportunities for learners to create
communities of inquiry that allow for more active learning. This paper reports on the use of a
Learning Management System (LMS) as a tool to facilitate students’ writing and critical
thinking skills. The primary data for the study came from students’ online learning records
and from discussion forum postings in the LMS. It was found that students’ motivation to
learn was at a high level. Most importantly, student motivation was positively correlated with
their learning behavior. Although male and female students did not differ in their motivation
and learning behavior, messages in the writing forum indicated that female students had
higher critical thinking skills than male students. “Explaining” messages appeared the most
often, while “interpreting” messages appeared the least. The process of text-based online
discussion in the forum had the potential to enhance the students’ writing skills, encourage
their critical thinking, and help them write more systematically. The practical implications of
these findings are discussed.

Keywords:

writing, online discussion, learning management system, online learning,
critical thinking


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