Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation


Jing Lei


asynchronous online discussions, cooperative learning, higher education, online learning, think-pair-share

Subject Categories

Education | Online and Distance Education


Asynchronous online discussion (AOD) has been a common instructional activity in the online learning context of higher education. However, previous studies suggested that students did not achieve the expected academic performances in AODs. This study proposed the think-pair-share (TPS) structure of cooperative learning as an instructional solution to improve students’ performances in AODs. Through integrating a TPS structure with multiple cooperative learning principles into a set of AODs, the researcher sequentially investigated three research questions: 1) if a student cohort participating in the TPS AODs would perform better than another student cohort participating in non-TPS AODs, 2) which small grouping approach was more appropriate for the TPS AODs, and 3) what were the students’ perspectives of the TPS AOD design.An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was employed to answer the three questions. Firstly, in a same course the researcher compared the performances of a non-TPS cohort in the 2018 semester (n=21) with the performances of a TPS cohort in the 2019 fall semester (n=21). The independent-samples statistical results showed the TPS cohort significantly outperformed the non-TPS cohort on their cognitive engagement (p


Open Access