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ERIC Number: EJ853778
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Using Interaction in Online Discussion Boards
Martyn, Margie A.
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v28 n4 p61-62 2005
As offerings of online courses, programs, and degrees continue to increase, universities are grappling for ways to assess and assure quality. The quality and quantity of interaction between faculty and students and among students constitutes a significant component of the definition of quality for any course, whether online or face-to-face. It seems a reasonable hypothesis, therefore, that focusing on a component of online learning that encourages and supports interaction--namely, discussion--might produce satisfied students who demonstrate significant learning outcomes. Online discussions have many dimensions, from their structure to timely feedback and assessment. Productive discussion does not happen automatically--it must be planned. Best practices for discussions include the following elements: (1) Require students to participate; (2) Grade student efforts; (3) Involve learning teams; (4) Structure discussions; (5) Require a hand-in assignment (a deliverable); (6) Pose questions and scenarios that require learners to use their own experience; and (7) Relate the discussion to course objectives. The study summarized in this article aims to determine if significant differences in learning outcomes existed between two sections of the same course, one taught as an online course for 15 weeks and the other taught in the traditional format of face-to-face, three-hour classroom meetings once per week for 15 weeks. Results from this study suggest strategies for implementing discussion to increase student interaction, satisfaction, and learning outcomes. (Contains 7 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A