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Impact of Facilitator on Participation within Online Discussion Forums
PROCEEDINGS

, James Madison University, United States ; , University of Virginia, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Honolulu, HI, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-73-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC

Abstract

The present study examines the role of the facilitator as a mediator of learning, interpersonal and content interactions. Specifically, it examines the effect that facilitators’ knowledge of the content matter being discussed had on participants’ postings within an online discussion forum. Thirty seven graduate students participated in online discussions of an ethical nature. Participants were assigned to one of three discussion forums. One discussion forum was facilitated by a content-matter expert, another by someone with no knowledge of the content area being discussed and a third group had no facilitator. Transcripts of the discussions were analyzed using a mixed methods design employing both statistical and quantitative content analysis. Results indicated that facilitated forums, whether the facilitator had knowledge of the content or not, yielded significantly lengthier responses and a greater number of postings coded as exploration of ideas as compared to responses from discussion forums without a facilitator.

Citation

Dudding, C. & Loncke, F. (2009). Impact of Facilitator on Participation within Online Discussion Forums. In G. Siemens & C. Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2009--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 635-639). Honolulu, HI, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .

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