Student choice of anonymity for learner identity in online learning discussion forums
Mark Freeman, University of Sydney, Australia ; Anne Bamford, University of technology, Sydney, Australia
International Journal on E-Learning Volume 3, Number 3, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
Academics have a range of learning activities and tools they can incorporate to enable students to achieve the objectives of their courses. Strategies such as role-play have been used with learners in face-to-face settings to allow students to experience learning using a range of learner identities. Yet, with the exception of role-plays, face-to-face learning situations rarely allow for students to adopt an alternative, or multiple learning identities. Learner identity has emerged as a new strategic learning variable within online learning environments. Learner identity can be used as a deliberate learning strategy as in online role-plays or discussion forums with pseudonym postings. At other times students may use online learning as an opportunity to reconfigure their learner identity. However, there is little evidence to guide academics when to include learner identity choices. The objective of this paper to provide a case study of altered learning identity in a professional higher education context where the blend of resources included online asynchronous discussion forums. Interesting cross-sectional and longitudinal data of anonymous postings reveal 1% of students posting 50% of such messages, students responding to own posts and cases of peer impersonation. Anonymity appears popular for clarifying expectations, particularly when courses are new.
Freeman, M. & Bamford, A. (2004). Student choice of anonymity for learner identity in online learning discussion forums. International Journal on E-Learning, 3(3), 45-53. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2004 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
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