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Effectiveness of Online Discussion Strategies: A Meta-Analysis

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American Journal of Distance Education Volume 27, Number 4, ISSN 0892-3647


This study addressed the argument that online courses rarely use discussion strategies that are specifically designed and constructed for soliciting learners' cognitive presence and higher-order thinking. Prompted by this argument, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of the empirical studies that examined the effectiveness of discussion strategies in online learning. More specifically, the meta-analysis was to reveal whether learners perform better in a strategic discussion session than when they engage in a conventional online discussion and under what conditions the learners' differences in performance are greater or smaller. Furthermore, the investigation examined the extent to which the online discussion strategies that included instructional elements and the pedagogical recommended by the literature make a difference in learners' performance.


Darabi, A., Liang, X., Suryavanshi, R. & Yurekli, H. (2013). Effectiveness of Online Discussion Strategies: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Distance Education, 27(4), 228-241. Retrieved November 15, 2019 from .

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