ERIC Number: ED443410
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Online Discussion: How Do Students Participate?
Davidson-Shivers, Gayle; Tanner, Erica; Muilenburg, Lin
The purpose of this study was to examine how graduate students participated in Web-based course discussions by analyzing the interactions that occurred between synchronous (chat) and asynchronous (listserv) modes of discussions using a coding scheme developed by the researchers. The study examined whether participation was substantive (directly related to the topic) and/or non-substantive (messages no directly related to content) in both types of discussions. In addition, students were surveyed about their computer and Internet experience and skills, as well as their attitudes toward the course content, its organization, and delivery. Findings indicated that the students enjoyed both forms of discussion, for different reasons. The chats provided a direct and interactive environment in which students reacted and responded to the topic at hand, had general discussions, and made supportive comments to one another. The listserv discussions provided an opportunity for students to give reflective, thoughtful responses to posed questions, and to provide insightful reaction to others' opinions and ideas. (Contains 14 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).