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ERIC Number: EJ787641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0047-2395
Online Threaded Discussions: Purposes, Goals, and Objectives
Maurino, Paula San Millan; Federman, Francine; Greenwald, Lorraine
Journal of Educational Technology Systems, v36 n2 p129-143 2007-2008
The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of instructors as they participate in an online classroom setting. It sought to find the purposes, goals, and objectives set by online instructors for the utilization of threaded discussions. The methodology employed was qualitative. A case study of a public two-year and four-year degree granting college was conducted. Thirty online instructors were interviewed in-depth. These interviews were triangulated with analysis of "starter" discussion questions, class database transcripts, and focus groups from private colleges. Findings showed that most instructors set interwoven cognitive and social goals for their classes and wanted to create a social environment conducive to student learning from each other, the instructor, and course materials. These goals were not always met and only 47% of the instructors considered their discussions successful. Most instructors did not participate in the discussions after posting the initial starter question. Teacher presence was not evident in the discussions. Instructors were intent on replicating their face-to-face class online in the selection of textbooks, grading policies, and learning activities. Threaded discussions were considered very successful for evaluation and assessment purposes and transmittal of simultaneous information. Recommendations included changing the mindset of faculty and administrators about perpetuation of the classroom genre online and modifying learning activities, methods, schedules, and policy to better serve students and faculty in the virtual environment.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A