What is it about?

Students often have negative views of online discussion boards. However, discussion boards are valuable tools for students for learning and peer collaboration in online courses. In this study, students either learned about the value of online discussion boards or a control lesson. Students who learned about the value of online discussion boards reported higher levels of motivation than their peers in the control group.

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Why is it important?

Online courses have increased in enrollment due to their flexibility as well as COVID precautions. But the withdrawal rate in online courses is often higher than face to face courses indicating a need to better engage students online. Online discussion boards are one tool for student engagement, but student "buy in" is important for quality engagement.


As an online instructor, I wanted to find ways to encourage my students to think more positively about peer engagement in online courses rather than seeing them as inferior to face to face. It was satisfying to see that sharing information and having students write a brief summary of the value of discussion boards had such positive effects on their attitudes!

Dr Virginia Clinton
University of North Dakota

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Improving student attitudes toward discussion boards using a brief motivational intervention., Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, August 2019, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/stl0000160.
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