ERIC Number: EJ853306
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
Asynchronous Online Discussion Thread Development: Examining Growth Patterns and Peer-Facilitation Techniques
Chan, J. C. C.; Hew, K. F.; Cheung, W. S.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v25 n5 p438-452 Oct 2009
This study extends the research on asynchronous online discussion (AOD) by providing a perspective on: (1) the growth patterns of discussion threads and (2) the influence of peer- or student-facilitation techniques on thread development. Using the Pointing, Questioning, Resolving and Summarizing (PQRS) facilitation techniques framework, the threaded discussions of seven AOD forums were carefully mapped out and each message in the postings was examined to determine the type of facilitation techniques applied. Results suggest that an online discussion thread grows either one of three patterns: a "short thread pattern", an "extended thread pattern" with an elongated structure or a "split thread pattern" with a broad structure. Results also suggest that the use of Resolving and Summarizing facilitation techniques tends to foster early thread termination. Understanding how each PQRS student-facilitation technique impacts thread development reinforces the need to combine the use of "questioning" techniques with other facilitation techniques to enhance thread continuity. We end by discussing some possible implications and issues for future research.
Descriptors: Experiential Learning, Asynchronous Communication, Internet, Discussion, Interpersonal Communication, Questioning Techniques, Peer Teaching, Evaluation Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A