ERIC Number: ED472738
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-3
Reference Count: N/A
A Primer on the Effective Use of Threaded Discussion Forums.
Kirk, James J.; Orr, Robert L.
Threaded discussion forums are asynchronous, World Wide Web-based discussions occurring under a number of different topics called threads. By allowing students to post, read, and respond to messages independently of time or place, threaded discussion forums give students an opportunity for deeper reflection and more thoughtful replies than chat and instant messaging sessions do. Research evidence strongly suggests that, by offering the following instructional benefits, threaded discussion forms are excellent tools for engaging online students: (1) they foster lively interaction between students and between students and faculty; (2) they serve as catalysts for active learning, group learning, and other types of learning requiring dialogue and the exchange of ideas and concepts; (3) they promote development of learning communities; (4) they motivate students to become highly engaged in their learning activities; and (5) they are well suited to covering topics that may be too sensitive, controversial, or personal for some students to discuss face to face. Instructors must also be aware that engaging students in threaded discussion forums may also add a great deal of reading to students' regular course load, distract students from equally or more important coursework, and create overwhelming work for instructors. (An annotated list of 13 online discussion resources and 15-item bibliography are included.) (MN)
Descriptors: Annotated Bibliographies, Computer Uses in Education, Definitions, Discussion Groups, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Group Discussion, Guidelines, Learning Processes, Listservs, Literature Reviews, Online Systems, Peer Relationship, Peer Teaching, Postsecondary Education, Secondary Education, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A