Using online discussion boards with large and small groups to enhance learning of assistive technology
- 395 Downloads
There is a need for further research to understand the potential uses of asynchronous electronic discussions in higher education courses. Electronic discussion boards were conducted with two different graduate speech-language pathology student cohorts to supplement in-class instruction regarding assistive technology. One year’s discussions were done as a single large group while the second year’s were done in multiple-small groups. These discussion boards were analyzed for emerging themes. Students’ opinions of the discussion board, along with their suggestions for improvement, were also requested and analyzed. Results indicated that the discussion boards were a successful tool in maximizing the potential for knowledge acquisition outside the classroom and that several enhancements could be added to improve the overall experience. In particular, instructor involvement was more easily incorporated into large groups and small groups had fewer students reporting about redundancy of posts. Practical applications and future research directions are discussed.
KeywordsQuestionnaire Graduate Online Discussion boards Assistive technology Augmentative and alternative communication
- Bender, T. (2003). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice and assessment. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.Google Scholar
- Beukelman, D. R., & Mirenda, P. (2005). Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children & adults with complex communication needs (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
- Blackboard, Inc. (1997–2006). Blackboard Academic Suite 126.96.36.1995 ® (Computer software). (http://www.blackboard.com/us/index.aspx).
- Figallo, C. (1998). Hosting web communities: Building relationships, increasing customer loyalty, and maintaining a competitive edge. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Haythornwaite, C., Kazmer, M. M., Robbins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 6(1), 1–24.Google Scholar
- Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- MacDonald, L., & Caverly, D. (2001). Techtalk: Expanding the online discussion. Journal of Developmental Education, 25(2), 38.Google Scholar
- Offerman, D., Pearce, K., & Tassava, C. (2006). Assessing the relationship between learner satisfaction and faculty participation in online courses. In S. L. Howell & M. Hricko (Eds.), Online assessment and measurement: Case studies from higher education, K-12, and corporate (pp. 27–41). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.Google Scholar
- Romeo, L. (2001). Asynchronous environments for teaching and learning: Literacy trends and issues online. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 6(3), 24–28.Google Scholar
- Smith, S. B., Smith, S. J., & Boone, R. (2000). Increasing access to teacher preparation: The effectiveness of traditional instructional methods in an online learning environment. Journal of Special Education Technology, 15(2), 37–46.Google Scholar
- Wickersham, L., & Dooley, K. (2006). A content analysis of critical thinking skills as an indicator of quality of online discussion in virtual learning communities. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 7(2), 185–193.Google Scholar