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A discussion board has become an essential tool in many Learning Management Systems because of it’s potential to allow the construction of knowledge through active participation from the students. Unfortunately for the past few years when online discussion was implemented by the authors, it has received unsatisfactory number of quality responses from the students. Rewards were often required to encourage the students to participate. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors why some students participated actively while some students become lurkers in the learning environment. Factors from the Western and Asian countries are extracted from previous research. The authors sought to investigate the reasons that encourage or inhibit the students from participating in the online discussion through findings acquired from three case studies carried out in a private higher education in Malaysia.