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Shaping Online Discussion: Assessment Matters
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, , , , Kent State University, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-62-4 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to empirically test the common-sense notion that the quality of online course discussions can be shaped by how discussion is assessed. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare discussion activity among 8 sections of an undergraduate class in educational technology at a Midwestern public university. All sections were required to participate in five identical discussions which collectively counted for 10% of their final grade. Two instructors each taught 4 sections of the course, 2 of which were given quality criteria for discussion participation, two of which were not. Results reveal that students in the criteria group responded significantly more often and at greater length to their classmates, and that they read significantly more of their classmates' postings. In addition, discussions in the criteria classes evidenced more posts, more threads, and a greater depth than did discussions in the classes given no discussion criteria.

Citation

Swan, K., Schenker, J., Arnold, S. & Kuo, C.L. (2007). Shaping Online Discussion: Assessment Matters. In C. Montgomerie & J. Seale (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2007--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2649-2656). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved October 19, 2019 from .

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