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Sat, Nov 3, 2:00 - 2:25, Haselton 2     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Filipski, K and M W Bigrigg.  Effectiveness of Online Discussion Groups.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2007, v 24 (Pittsburgh): §3552. ISSN: 1542-7382. (A later version appears in Information Systems Education Journal 7(86). ISSN: 1545-679X.)

Effectiveness of Online Discussion Groups

Refereed16 pages
Karen Filipski    [a1] [a2]
Computer Science Department
Indiana University of Pennsylvania    [u1] [u2]
Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA    [c1] [c2]

Michael W. Bigrigg    [a1] [a2]
Institute for Software Research
Carnegie Mellon University    [u1] [u2]
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA    [c1] [c2]

To build an online community, which is an essential learning component for an online class, web discussion groups are utilized to engage the student population in appropriate academic learning exchanges. The concern at hand is how effective large threads are in which active students participate. We assert that there are a finite number of possible answers to a direct question, therefore online discussion threads should be capped in participant numbers due to the redundancy of answers and lack of student engagement when message counts become too high.

Keywords: online discussion, expert learners, online communities, online education, thread effectiveness, computer literacy, distance learning

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