Case Studies on Peer Facilitation: What Motivates Participants to Contribute?



In this chapter, we describe four studies that examined the possible factors which could motivate students to contribute in peer facilitated online discussions. The first study examined peer facilitators’ habits of mind, while the other three studies examined other possible factors. We offer the following findings or main lessons learned from the four studies: peer facilitators should display the habits of open-mindedness and awareness of own thinking more frequently, efforts to foster relational capital among participants before the discussion should be emphasized, participants should be reminded to help others first to increase the chance of reciprocity, controversial and relevant topics should be chosen for discussion, and that peer facilitators should periodically summarize the main points of a discussion and follow up with relevant questions after the summary.


Asynchronous online discussion Peer facilitation Habits of mind Reciprocity Mutual obligation Controversial topics Relevant topics Facilitators Questions Summary Case studies Student facilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Learning Sciences, and TechnologiesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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