Facilitating Students’ Critical Thinking in Online Discussion: An Instructor’s Experience

Hua Bai
SUNY Potsdam


This paper reported using the practical inquiry model as discourse guide to facilitate students’ critical thinking in online discussion. It was found that almost all the postings of the students who had no knowledge of the inquiry model fell into exploration phase except three postings in triggering events phase and two in integration phase. In comparison, the postings of the students who used the model as the guide included more instances of integration than the postings of those who did not know about the model. No instance in resolution phase was found. The findings indicated that providing students inquiry model raised their awareness of critical thinking and helped them intentionally engage in reflection and higher-order thinking when responding online.

About the Author(s)...

Hua Bai is Assistant Professor in Information and Communication Technology Department at SUNY Potsdam. Dr. Bai’s research interests focus on communication and engagement in online learning and strategies in facilitating teacher education students’ learning in technology environments. She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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