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Online courses in higher education should go beyond the conversion of a face-to-face module into its online format. Teachers should tap on the affordances of the technology to bring about pedagogical change for enhanced learning. The field of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environment seems promising. This study looks at a group of pre-service teachers engaged in design critique discussion in the course of their video production projects using an asynchronous online discussion platform, Knowledge Community. It argues for the relevance of using example- based critiques and CSCL to help novices learn design principles in design education. Two research questions guided this study: 1) How did students perceive the value of critiquing video examples in helping them learn about video production? 2) To what extent did the 4-step critique model assist students in their learning? Findings indicate that the use of design examples help to improve students' knowledge of video production and made them discover for themselves which design techniques worked and which did not. The 4 critique steps succeeded in attracting large proportion of on-task and relevant postings that contributed to the quality of the discourse. Novice designers seemed to have no problems identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the design examples, but they were weak at two critique steps that demanded inferring and summarizing from the discussion. Professional video examples benefited students in setting a high standard to work towards, whereas past student examples made them aware of issues of "what not to do". Of the two video examples, students seemed to have benefited more from the student video as they could relate to it better. This research contributes to the fields of scaffolding, design of learning environments and CSCL. In particular, it adds to the skant literature on how to use design examples and procedural scaffolding for supporting students' online collaborative critiq- - ues..