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Student experiences of facilitated asynchronous online discussion boards: lessons learned and implications for teaching practice

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:58 authored by Allison JamesAllison James, Tracy DouglasTracy Douglas, Earwaker, LA, Carey MatherCarey Mather
As an alliance of academics undertaking blended delivery, we have experienced the challenge of tailoring teaching strategies to different learning styles. Our teaching has evolved, moving from traditional didactic delivery to the utilisation of online technology to accommodate both academic and student expectations. The pressure to teach within constrained resources and issues presented from the COVID-19 pandemic has provided opportunities to optimise educational technology. We identified a gap in genuinely engaged online discussions, observing that pedagogic value was often obscure. This cross-sectional study investigated the opinions and experiences of undergraduate students in four health science online units where asynchronous discussion boards were linked to summative assessment. By assessing discussion posts, students may be motivated to participate further, with student engagement influenced through educator involvement, the discussion purpose and group interactivity. Whilst some students were critical of the value of asynchronous discussion boards, others positively viewed discussions as a platform for peer engagement and information sharing. Discussion boards can provide active learning experiences particularly for online students; however, effective educator involvement and online supportive teaching strategies and practices are crucial to pedagogical success. Based on the key findings from this study we propose implications for practice in a higher education context.

History

Publication title

Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice

Volume

19

Issue

5

Article number

10

Number

10

Pagination

1-20

ISSN

1449-9789

Department/School

Australian Maritime College

Publisher

University of Wollongong * Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources

Place of publication

Australia

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Higher education; Teacher and instructor development