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ERIC Number: EJ875056
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1528-3518
The Superiority of Online Discussion: Faculty Perceptions
Baglione, Stephen L.; Nastanski, Michael
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, v8 n2 p139-150 2007
With online education continuing its meteoric rise, some educators continue to debate the efficacy of the medium--in particular, the ability to discuss complex subjects online. However, the online asynchronous discussion environment seems to offer some advantages over the traditional classroom including increased time for students to research and reflect on ideas and physical anonymity that may decrease inhibitions and foster broad participation. This article examines the theoretical advantages of online discussion groups and the survey results from 122 experienced faculty members to determine, first, how many faculty members prefer the online environment and, second, what is the relationship of this preference to their assessment of the superiority of online discussion. The results indicate that half of the faculty who teach online and on-ground prefer teaching in both environments and that three quarters of those educators believe the online environment facilitates more substantive discussion. As online education continues to explode, the implications for educators include the need to understand and embrace the inherent online classroom advantages and how to integrate those advantages with traditional classrooms including hybrid (on-ground/online) models. Educators failing to do this will find themselves left behind in the fastest-growing education segment and potentially less effective in the traditional classroom where younger students have come to increasingly rely on interactive/asynchronous communication as a preferred method of communication. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 79049, Charlotte, NC 28271-7047. Tel: 704-752-9125; Fax: 704-752-9113; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A