Chapter II

Literature Review

Grounded in the theories of social constructivism and cooperative learning, this chapter reviews the literature on critical thinking and examines how critical thinking can be fostered in online distance learning environments through encouraging students to take deeper approaches to their learning.

Despite extensive electronic searches of online databases, scholarly journals and university library catalogues, very few articles on the topic of cooperative study buddy activities in online distance learning contexts were found. Although the term “study buddy” was used quite often in research articles, it tended to refer either to unstructured, social partnerships between students or automated software solutions used to match potential study partners.

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