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Asynchronous Online Discussions as a Tool for Learning: Students' Attitudes, Expectations, and Perceptions

, Ithaca College, United States ; , Broome Community College, United States ; , Ithaca College, United States

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 16, Number 4, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Based on expectations from previous studies, data from field notes, pre- and post-questionnaires, class documentation, student papers from 35 undergraduate and graduate students, and the content of a focus group session were analyzed to relate students' pre-course attitudes and expectations, and several cognitive factors to participation levels and perceptions about learning via asynchronous online discussions to supplement class meetings. Results showed that while students' attitudes and expectations about computers and online learning were not significantly correlated to their participation levels and perceptions of learning, several significant intercorrelations between pre-course attitudes, expectations about bulletin board systems (BBS) used for class discussions, and expected learning were found. In addition, greater levels of participation were found to engender greater satisfaction. Findings suggest several methods which may be used to change students' perceptions and raise their levels of participation.


Pena-Shaff, J., Altman, W. & Stephenson, H. (2005). Asynchronous Online Discussions as a Tool for Learning: Students' Attitudes, Expectations, and Perceptions. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 16(4), 409-430. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 18, 2019 from .


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