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Students' Use of Asynchronous Discussions for Academic Discourse Socialization

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Distance Education Volume 31, Number 3, ISSN 0158-7919


Our universities are becoming increasingly diverse at the same time as online asynchronous discussions (OADs) are emerging as the most important forum for computer mediated communication (CMC) in distance education. But there is shortage of studies that explore how graduate students from different ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds use OADs for academic discourse socialization. This article discusses a qualitative study conducted to address these issues. Language socialization and community of practice theories informed the study. Analyses of surveys, interviews, and Blackboard postings from seven hybrid courses reveal that participants perceived OADs highly positively and used them as a virtual community for academic and professional discourse socialization and appropriation. Findings also suggest that students experienced some frustrations and disappointments regarding professorial presence and grading. We discuss these findings, show how academic and professional discourse socialization occurs in asynchronous virtual reality, and draw implications for further research and practice. (Contains 4 tables.)


Beckett, G.H., Amaro-Jimenez, C. & Beckett, K.S. (2010). Students' Use of Asynchronous Discussions for Academic Discourse Socialization. Distance Education, 31(3), 315-335. Retrieved August 15, 2020 from .

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