ERIC Number: EJ796865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 0
Facilitating Online Discussions Effectively
Rovai, Alfred P.
Internet and Higher Education, v10 n1 p77-88 2007
This article presents a synthesis of the theoretical and research literature on facilitating asynchronous online discussions effectively. Online courses need to be designed so that they provide motivation for students to engage in productive discussions and clearly describe what is expected, perhaps in the form of a discussion rubric. Additionally, instructors need to provide discussion forums for socio-emotional discussions that have the goal of nurturing a strong sense of community within the course as well as group discussion forums for content-and task-oriented discussions that center on authentic topics. In order to facilitate discussions effectively, instructors should generate a social presence in the virtual classroom, avoid becoming the center of all discussions by emphasizing student-student interactions, and attend to issues of social equity arising from use of different communication patterns by culturally diverse students [e.g., Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., and Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. "The American Journal of Distance Education," 15(1), 7-23; Rovai, A. P. (2003). Strategies for grading online discussions: Effects on discussions and classroom community in Internet-based university courses. "Journal of Computing in Higher Education," 15(1), 89-107].
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Online Courses, Educational Technology, Virtual Classrooms, Discussion Groups, Student Motivation, Motivation Techniques, Classroom Environment, Social Environment, Cultural Differences, Teacher Student Relationship, Computer Assisted Instruction, Communication Strategies, Teacher Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A