Managing Online Discussion Forums for Collaborative Learning

Managing Online Discussion Forums for Collaborative Learning

Wing Lam (Universitas 21 Global, Singapore), Eu-Jin Kong (Universitas 21 Global, Singapore) and Alton Chua (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-000-4.ch067
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In recent years, there has been significant growth in online education (Schrum & Hong, 2002; Evans & Haase, 2001). The number of academic journals devoted to online education also suggests that researchers are paying much attention to advancing online educational methods. One promising area of investigation is collaborative learning, which involves students learning as a group (Zhang & Nunamaker, 2003), much of which takes place electronically without face-to-face interaction (Townsend, DeMarie, & Hendrickson, 1998). One popular tool used to support collaborative learning is the online discussion forum (ODF), which allows asynchronous interaction between participants. This paper describes the experiences of using ODFs for collaborative learning at Universitas 21 Global (U21G), a newly established e-university.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Discussion Forum (ODF): An online asynchronous collaboration tool that enables students to communicate through threaded discussion.

Universitas 21 Global (U21G): An e-university owned by the 19 member universities in the Universitas 21 network that delivers its academic programs entirely online.

Collaborative Learning: Learning activities that are performed as part of a group.

Peer Learning: Learning conducted via the exchange of ideas with fellow students.

Deep Discussion: Discussion that involves challenge, reflection and debate.

Online Presence: Being visible within an online team or community.

Online Education: The use of the Internet and other online technologies to deliver educational programs.

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