Multimodal Interactive Tools for Online Discussions and Assessment

Multimodal Interactive Tools for Online Discussions and Assessment

Enilda Romero-Hall, Cristiane Rocha Vicentini
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1851-8.ch005
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The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the enhancement of asynchronous online discussions and assessment using multimodal interactive tools that allow text, video, and audio posts. The integration of these multimodal interactive tools as well as their affordances could lead to powerful changes in the learning experience of students interacting in asynchronous online environments. Along with providing an overview on asynchronous online discussions, the chapter will include a review of how multimodal interactive tools are used to engage learners in online discussions using text, audio, and video. Additionally, the chapter will describe both the benefits and challenges of asynchronous online discussions with text, audio, and video posting. Furthermore, the chapter will describe how the same multimodal interactive tools can also serve as an assessment method in asynchronous online learning of specialized subject areas.
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Asynchronous Online Discussions: Overview

Asynchronous online discussion boards both enable students to explicitly express their thoughts in writing and promote communication among teachers and students. In addition, researchers agree that asynchronous online discussion settings support collaborative knowledge construction, critical thinking, and greater realism and motivation to learn (Bassett, 2011; De Oliveira & Olesova, 2013; deNoyelles, Mannheimer Zydney, & Baiyun, 2014; Gao et al., 2013). Participation in asynchronous online discussions is based on willingness; therefore, contributors may be expected to be individuals who are self-motivating and goal-oriented, who acquire from experiences, read, and evaluate other messages in relation to the discussed topic, and who think about the topic (Ozyurt & Ozyurt, 2011). However, limited participation and interaction in asynchronous online discussions appears to be a persistent and widespread problem. To solve this issue, peer facilitation has been proposed as a means to encourage a greater degree of interaction, as well as a model for productive online discussion (Ng, Cheung, & Hew, 2012). Other factors identified for a successful asynchronous discussion are: presence, threaded posts, quality posts, discussion style, conversational style, feedback, and the use of questions (Fear & Erikson-Brown, 2014).

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