Impact of Asynchronous Online Discussions: A Study of Implementation in Two Large-Enrollment Blended Courses
Thursday, June 25 10:00-10:30 AM Location: Hilo
Presider: Kenichi Kubota, Kansai University, Japan
Abstract: Asynchronous online discussions are widely used in online and blended courses. This study examined the implementation of online discussions in two large-enrollment undergraduate courses, one in engineering and one in education, which were taught using a blended approach. Students’ perceptions of the online discussions and their impact were gathered through a post-course survey. Results showed that students from both courses were comfortable with this approach and saw it as a way to express opinions and learn from peers. The biggest limitation was that it was hard for students to remember to participate. Engineering students were somewhat more likely than education students to view online discussions as beneficial and were more likely to collaborate with peers. Education students valued their instructors’ facilitation of the discussions. The results suggest that relevant and effectively facilitated asynchronous online discussions have potential to foster social and cooperative learning in blended courses.