A tale of six fish: achieving social presence through discussion forums in an offline learning environment

Lloyd, Margaret M. (2011) A tale of six fish: achieving social presence through discussion forums in an offline learning environment. Journal of Learning Design, 4(2), pp. 39-51.

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It is widely held, through the Socratic tradition, that discussion is at the heart of learning. Moderated discussion forums have been shown to replicate the debate, argument and verbal defence of viewpoints that we have come to expect in face-to-face learning environments and that we generally accept to underpin learning. While much has been written about discussion forums in educational settings, particularly in how to moderate and promote effective interaction with students at a distance, this paper takes a different approach. It looks at how forums may be used to support face-to-face learning in the contemporary context of the massification of on-campus classes. Further to this, it will argue for discussion forums as an indicator of social presence in the learning environment. It will cautiously conclude that, through purposeful design, this form of asynchronous communication has a valuable role to play in creating a positive and supportive environment for students entering university. Discussion forums are tools with a versatility yet to be fully exploited.

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ID Code: 41059
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: asynchronous communication, first-year experience , discussion forum, HERN
ISSN: 1832-8342
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Margaret Lloyd
Copyright Statement: Under Creative Commons Licence 3.0
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2011 23:11
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:59

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