Student Engagement in Distance
            Learning Environments:
         A Comparison of Threaded
Discussion Forums and ...
Research Article Review
               By Martina Henke

  EDAE 637 : The Design of E-Learning
                  Universit...
Purpose:


The purpose of this study was to
improve the quality of students’
online discussion of assigned
readings in an ...
Online Discussions...


deepen student understanding of course
material and to support student
interactions
Online Discussions...


can reduce the psychological and
communications distance among the
learners
Online Discussions...

can facilitate more collaborative
learning when students post questions,
share ideas, and jointly c...
Online Discussions...

are threaded, recorded, and available
outside normal time constraints, thus
have great potential to...
...however...

often lack focus and depth
leave important issues unexplored
The Study:


Researchers compared
traditional threaded discussions
with a text-focused wiki
The Study:

Participants:
20 master’s level students in an online
educational psychology course.
The Study:

Methodology:
Students first responded in threaded
discussion format. In week 5 of class, a
different format was...
Assigned Text         Student Responses




          Text-focused wiki
Data Collection:

Questionnaire:
(a) “How did the text–focused Wiki and the threaded
forum impact your participation simil...
Results:

    Four Discussion Areas Influenced:
•   focus
•   depth
•   flow
•   willingness to participate
Focus:
Depth:
Flow of Discussion:
Willingness to Participate:

•   16 of 20 more enthusiastic about the text-focused
    wiki
•   Greater average # of posts...
Some Constraints:

•   Less chance to discuss personal stories & real-
    life situations
•   Good for focusing, not as s...
Implications for Future Research

•   What types of discussion the text-focused wiki
    does and does not support
•   How...
My Thoughts:

This method fits with current research on
effective comprehension teaching
strategies
A creative method for o...
Sources:

Gao, Fei, AND Wong, David. "Student engagement in
distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded
discu...
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OmniFocus Review

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OmniFocus Review

  1. 1. Student Engagement in Distance Learning Environments: A Comparison of Threaded Discussion Forums and Text–focused Wikis by Fei Gao and David Wong First Monday [Online], Volume 13 Number 1 (13 January 2008)
  2. 2. Research Article Review By Martina Henke EDAE 637 : The Design of E-Learning University of Alaska Dr. Andrew Page
  3. 3. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to improve the quality of students’ online discussion of assigned readings in an online course.
  4. 4. Online Discussions... deepen student understanding of course material and to support student interactions
  5. 5. Online Discussions... can reduce the psychological and communications distance among the learners
  6. 6. Online Discussions... can facilitate more collaborative learning when students post questions, share ideas, and jointly construct meaning
  7. 7. Online Discussions... are threaded, recorded, and available outside normal time constraints, thus have great potential to support higher- order thinking and in-depth learning
  8. 8. ...however... often lack focus and depth leave important issues unexplored
  9. 9. The Study: Researchers compared traditional threaded discussions with a text-focused wiki
  10. 10. The Study: Participants: 20 master’s level students in an online educational psychology course.
  11. 11. The Study: Methodology: Students first responded in threaded discussion format. In week 5 of class, a different format was introduced.
  12. 12. Assigned Text Student Responses Text-focused wiki
  13. 13. Data Collection: Questionnaire: (a) “How did the text–focused Wiki and the threaded forum impact your participation similarly or differently?” (b) “How did the text–focused Wiki and the threaded impact your discussion similarly or differently?” (c) “What were other good and bad experiences when participating in each of the activities?
  14. 14. Results: Four Discussion Areas Influenced: • focus • depth • flow • willingness to participate
  15. 15. Focus:
  16. 16. Depth:
  17. 17. Flow of Discussion:
  18. 18. Willingness to Participate: • 16 of 20 more enthusiastic about the text-focused wiki • Greater average # of posts and # of words posted • Spontaneous re-reading of the text
  19. 19. Some Constraints: • Less chance to discuss personal stories & real- life situations • Good for focusing, not as strong at developing a broad view
  20. 20. Implications for Future Research • What types of discussion the text-focused wiki does and does not support • How best to combine these types of discussion with other forms • How instructor scaffolding and facilitation can be combined with these discussions.
  21. 21. My Thoughts: This method fits with current research on effective comprehension teaching strategies A creative method for overcoming the difficulties presented by threaded discussion forums.
  22. 22. Sources: Gao, Fei, AND Wong, David. "Student engagement in distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded discussion forums and text-focused Wikis" First Monday [Online], Volume 13 Number 1 (13 January 2008)

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