DOI: 10.5176/2251-1814_EeL16.8

Authors: Rebecca Tam Lai-wah

Abstract: Asynchronous discussions have been widely developed in higher education in the past decade. They are used to supplement the face-to-face interaction of traditional discussions and extend learning beyond the classroom by facilitating collaborative learning in which students construct knowledge through interaction with one another. However, is this type of discussion able to enhance the learning process? This paper reviews the literature on collaborative learning via asynchronous learning network. Findings from a small-scale qualitative project with four undergraduates who have used the online discussion forum are discussed in-depth. Factors affecting student participation and improvement or support needed to help students benefit from asynchronous discussions are also presented.

Keywords: collaborative learning, asynchronous learning, online discussion forum, interaction

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