Asynchronous Web Discussions in Teacher Training Courses: Promoting Collaborative Learning - Or Not?
Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas, American University, United States
AACE Journal Volume ISSN 1065-6901 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Over the past few years, asynchronous web-based technologies have been examined for their usefulness in promoting collaborative learning among university students. Variations in implementation of this technology will determine to what extent students’ learning is actually collaborative. This paper discusses curricular adaptations made in the integration of an asynchronous discussion board assignment in graduate level teacher training courses over a five-semester period. It examines how several parameters (assignment preparation, student groupings, number, topic, and type of posting, prompt, instructor’s role, evaluation, and carry-over into class meetings) were modified in each semester and discusses which parameters did and did not contribute effectively to collaborative learning as identified through five key elements: positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, social skills, and self-evaluation. Based on the formats that were found to promote collaborative learning most successfully, conclusions about a recommended asynchronous web discussion assignment are presented.
Biesenbach-Lucas, S. (1999). Asynchronous Web Discussions in Teacher Training Courses: Promoting Collaborative Learning - Or Not?. AACE Journal. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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