Online collaborative discussion: Myth or valuable learning tool

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Vance A. Durrington, Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:

Abstract: This study was designed to examine online group discussions from a student’s perspective to determine what characteristics students identify as meaningful to their learning. Quantitative data were collected, analyzed, summarized in six tables. The overall results indicated that students preferred to have time to reflect on their discussions before having to give their answer. They also indicated that critical thinking skills and goals for course achievement were enhanced in online collaborative discussions. Students did not have a clear preference for group size whether for small groups or the entire class. Technical discussion projects were a preferred component of group discussions. Students were divided on their preferences for group work but overall preferred to work alone on online projects. Taking students’ perceptions into consideration, this study provides valuable implications for instructors to help students effectively selfregulate their online discussions, and positively enhance their online collaborative learning experience.

Additional Information

Du, J. A., Durrington, V. A., & Mathews, J. G. (2007). Online collaborative discussion: Myth or valuable learning tool. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(No. 2), 94-104. Retrieved from
Language: English
Date: 2007
Online Discussion, Collaborative Learning, Interactions, Group Work
Forums (Discussion and debate)
Electronic discussion groups
Group work in education
Group work in research

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