Evaluating the use of online discussion boards for pre-service teacher learning
Online course management systems are used in online and face-to-face courses in many higher education institutions. Discussion boards are an available feature in many online course management systems. The purpose of the study was to examine the use of internet asynchronous discussion boards used by pre-service teachers in a teaching methods course. When structured properly the internet is possibly the most valuable learning tool we have today (Ortiz, 2004). Online discussion boards can engage all students and promote interaction among them (Jeong, 2003). At the same time, instructors can facilitate discussions to help students relate what they learn to the real world of teaching (Beck & Kosnik, 2006). The discussion boards were evaluated to see if students connected their current or recent experiences from field work in schools when discussing coursework material. Data were collected weekly as the students participated in the discussions. Research studies previously conducted regarding online discussions and critical thinking were reviewed to establish coding criteria. Based on the intent of this research project and the literature, criteria were developed for a coding system to analyze the discussions. Results from the analysis were used to create guidelines for the future structuring of asynchronous online discussion boards. © Common Ground, Susan T. Hibbard, Aarti P. Bellara, Paul Vermette.
Hibbard, ST; Bellara, AP; Vermette, P
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