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Impact of Discussion Structure on Student Participation in Online Discussions
PROCEEDINGS

, University of West Florida, United States ; , University of South Alabama, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Toronto, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-81-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC

Abstract

Because of their potential to support student learning, using threaded discussions within online learning is of interest to instructors, and determining what factors influence student participation in online discussions becomes a crucial discovery for them. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether structure (i.e., guidelines as to the amount and type of response) affects student participation. Participants (N=69) were assigned to three treatments: high, moderate, or low structure. Results showed that the High Structure group posted significantly more responses on average than the Moderate Structure group. Both High and Moderate Structure groups also posted more responses on average than the Low Structure group. Therefore, amount of student participation increased as level of structure increased. Interestingly, we also found that there was a high attrition rate for the High Structure group compared to the other two groups. This unanticipated finding needs further research as does discussion structure.

Citation

Ellis, H.H. & Davidson-Shivers, G.V. (2010). Impact of Discussion Structure on Student Participation in Online Discussions. In J. Herrington & C. Montgomerie (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2010--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2364-2372). Toronto, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 23, 2019 from .

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