A telecollaborative approach to foster students' critical thinking skills

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Aysel Saricaoglu


This study reports on a telecollaborative approach to foster students' critical thinking skills, more specifically to help them gain knowledge about a different educational culture and develop a critical perspective upon their own educational culture at the university. The study specifically examines the extent to which participation in telecollaboration enabled students to complete a critical thinking task, students' overall impressions of the telecollaboration, and the factors that affected the perceived success of their telecollaborative learning experiences. Undergraduate students taking a Critical Thinking course at a university in Turkey (n=53) telecollaborated with undergraduate students at a university in the USA for three weeks. They were given a critical thinking task, in which students were asked (a) to develop discussion questions that would elicit the information they needed for their arguments from their US partners, (b) to exchange information with their partners, (c) to compare their education with the US education and analyze their education from a critical-thinking perspective, (d) to develop three written arguments based on the telecollaboratively-exchanged information as their final product, and (e) to reflect upon the whole telecollaborative learning process. According to the analysis of their written argument grades and survey responses, telecollaboration provided students with an effective medium to complete the critical thinking task, although some students reported experiencing some problems. Suggestions are offered for better learning experiences in future telecollaborative implementations.


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Saricaoglu, A. (2021). A telecollaborative approach to foster students’ critical thinking skills. Focus on ELT Journal, 3(1), 18–32. https://doi.org/10.14744/felt.2021.00043