Research Article 2

The project was an educational intervention study in which I designed learning activities based on the resources available through social networking (SN) websites, and investigated how these activities affected students’ critical thinking (CT) skills, as reflected in their argumentative writing. The objective was to demonstrate an improvement in CT skills through this intervention and provide design guidance for SN website-based learning activities. This study was conducted with 11 female undergraduate students from the Instructional Technology Department (ITD) at King Saud University (KSU) in Saudi Arabia, who were studying the 241ITE course. I used a design-based research (DBR) methodology combined with the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model of learning design to develop the intervention and analyse the results. I structured the study into two main stages: intervention design and intervention implementation. The study’s findings showed that many of the students had significant problems in acquiring CT skills, and that the learning activities helped most students overcome them. Students also registered positive attitudes towards such interventions. The findings may influence educational practices in Saudi universities and stimulate interest and investment in SN website use in education.

Keywords: Social networking websites; Critical thinking; Learning activities

2Alsaleh-June2016

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