Sunday, November 30, 2008

Structuring Online Discussions for Meaningful Discourse


We're often asked how to improve online discussion participation. I recently read a study which examined the impact of faciliator guidelines, posting protocols, and evaluation criteria on the quantity and quality of student postings. In this study, Gilbert & Dabbagh (2005) found:

  • The addition of facilitator guidelines positively influenced meaningful discourse in asynchronous online discussions. (p. 14)
  • The addition of online discussion evaluation rubrics, in particular, the even distribution of postings' requirement and the increase in the overall grade percentage, positively influenced meaningful discourse in asynchronous online discussions. (p. 16)
  • However, restricting the length of online discussion postings and requiring reading citations may inhibit students from meaningfully engaging in online discourse. (p. 14)

Gilbert, P. K., & Dabbagh, N. (2005). How to structure online discussions for meaningful discourse: A case study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(1), 5-18.


Posted at 04:56PM Nov 30, 2008 by dantonacci