The tendency of closed-mindedness in different web-based project learning designs in civic education – Argumentative writing, propaganda production, and scoping review

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background: The state of being closed-minded refers to a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments. It may affect information processing and social interactions, such as the tendency to rely on first impressions. It is both a trait that varies across individuals, and a tendency that is shaped by a person’s social environment. Recent studies suggest the potential to reducing closed-mindedness by using well-crafted learning designs. Nevertheless, many educational studies focus more on academic outcomes than psychosocial outcomes, and many of them are theoretical discussions rather than experimental studies. Against this background, this study adopts an experimental design to fill this research gap. Objective: This study aims to examine participants’ tendency of being closed-minded in different web-based project learning designs in civic education, namely: argumentative writing (AW), propaganda production (PP), and scoping review (SR). We hypothesize that AW will induce the highest level, PP will induce medium level, and SR will induce the lowest level. Intervention: Participants in different groups (AW group, PP group, SR group) will complete their respective projects based on the same project theme (e.g., a controversial social issue). Participants in each group will be further sub-divided into 5 small teams. Each small team will have its own Facebook page and an editable Google Document. Over a 3-month-period, the RA will systematically share the same set of materials (news and web resources) to respective Facebook pages of different teams on a daily basis. Finally, each small team will complete a summary report using their Google doc page, according to the format required by their respective groups. The best reports in respective groups will receive awards. Method: The intervention will be researched using a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Participants will include N=90 Chinese, aged 18-24, born in HK, and completed their Liberal Studies examination. They will be recruited by teachers, and/or social workers. Participants will be randomly assigned to the AW group, PP group or SR group, each with 30 participants. There will be three waves of assessment, namely: pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2 months after completion of intervention. Core outcome measures include: the need for cognitive closure, critical thinking dispositions, and positions toward the issue being addressed by the project. Implication: These findings may help inform pedagogies, intervention strategies, and public policies in relation to local youth civic engagement.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/20


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