Transformative learning and critical thinking in asynchronous online discussions: a systematic review
DiPasquale, Joshua P.
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Transformative learning is a fundamental component of the higher education experience. Transformative educational experiences are those in which students are engaged in sustained and critically reflective discourse that challenges their own and others’ assumptions and beliefs. The role of the educator is critical for designing and facilitating a learning environment that is conducive to for this type of critical thinking and learning to occur. In this literature review, I sought to investigate instructional strategies that could be used to promote critical and reflective thinking in asynchronous online discussions to inform future research and practice. The literature review was qualitative and systematic, and it was focused specifically on summarizing strategies that were effective in fully-online higher education contexts. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize the findings and conclusions from the various studies into recurrent themes and subthemes. The results of the analysis indicated that practitioners should employ a multi-step approach to facilitating critical thinking and reflection in AODs. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.