Deschryver (2014) presents a noble study on using the web-mediated knowledge synthesis for higher order thinking and for ecology of learning. He describes web-mediated knowledge synthesis and higher order thinking as deep learning paradigms that equate to creativity, knowledge integration and problem-solving skills. He argues that using the web-mediated knowledge synthesis in our daily lives can enhance a new ecology of learning that coincides with technology knowledge, pedagogy knowledge and content knowledge (TPACK). He urges teachers not to view TPACK as separate elements in web-mediated environments. He argues “there is also a need for scholarly efforts to better understand the skills necessary to engage in higher, or generative, thinking in web-mediated environments” (p. 4). This is an important argument because web mediated environments are not well-structured domains. That is, web mediated environments are ill structured domains and, thus, require acquisition of knowledge, self-regulatory and critical thinking skills coupled with an ecology of learning ethos. Finally, he argues that good educational research starts with a good literature review, theoretical framework and foci.


Deschryver (2014) did a brilliant job in designing the elements of the web-mediated knowledge synthesis and conceptual framework. Both the web-mediated knowledge synthesis and conceptual framework comprise a taxonomy of knowledge variables and synthesis. The taxonomy of synthesis is grounded on a comprehensive review of the literature, and the taxonomy of synthesis builds from the references of renown scholars. The literature review defines and operationalizes the multiple variables noted throughout the taxonomy of synthesis. The references are scholarly and peer reviewed, and the content knowledge of the conceptual framework is grounded in cognitive and learning theories. For example, he conceptualizes higher order thinking through generative synthesis. The information is reliable because Deschryver (2014) theorizes and operationalize a complex phenomenon, and he leaves the door open for future research on web-mediated knowledge synthesis.


The Deschryver (2014) study provides an understanding of grounded research in a qualitative research design. The conceptual framework fosters higher order thinking in educational technology. Higher order thinking helps the learner in problem solving and critical thinking skills in a web-mediated environment. The study promotes how to use a taxonomy of technology knowledge, pedagogy knowledge and content knowledge (TPACK) in an online environment. The study, furthermore, reiterates that TPACK is mutually exclusive and works together in an ill structured domain or web-mediated environment. Finally, the study helps my understanding knowledge syntheses in a web mediated environment.

DESCHRYVER, M. (2014). Higher Order Thinking in an Online World: Toward a Theory of Web-Mediated Knowledge Synthesis. Teachers College Record, 116(12), 1-44.

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