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ERIC Number: ED552707
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 151
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-8397-8
Threaded Discussion Instructional Strategies and Student Performance
Krull, Rodger Pratt
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The University of West Florida
Educators need insight into what instructional strategies are effective in the online environment, but few researchers have contrasted threaded discussion strategies and measures of student performance using a quantitative approach. Also, the effectiveness of threaded discussion strategies across all student generation groups or between genders is not resolved. This paper contains a quantitative group comparison study of 438 undergraduate students at a regional comprehensive university using ex post facto data. The data were derived from a purposeful sample of 15 fully online course sections. The purpose of the study was to compare several elements associated with teaching presence, student generation groups, and student genders in terms of student performance. Although neither the threaded discussion strategy nor the student participation requirement appeared to relate to students' final course grades, those two course design elements did appear related to differences in group performance indicated by discussion thread length. The conclusion was that an instructor may provide students with more extrinsic motivation to engage in discourse by imposing more structure on the discussions. A high level of the instructor participation component of teaching presence appeared unrelated to students' final course grades but was associated with lower group performance as indicated by shorter discussion threads. These results may indicate a need for instructors to limit their participation in discussions lest they cut the conversations short or discourage further student participation. Generational differences were noted between the younger traditional undergraduate students comprised of individuals from Generation Y and the older non-traditional undergraduate students. The former tended to receive lower final grades than the latter but were associated with longer discussion thread lengths. These results may relate to generation group differences in intrinsic motivation, maturity, work ethic, and comfort with communicating and collaborating in the online environment. The only gender difference noted was a longer discussion thread length associated with females. These findings tend to support that variations in the teaching presence indicators of threaded discussion strategy, student participation requirement, and instructor participation were related to changes in the student performance outcomes associated with the threaded discussion community of inquiry. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A