Instructional Activities in a Discussion Board Forum of an e-Leaning Management System

  • Yanfei Ma
  • Cathryn Friel
  • Wanli Xing
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 435)


This study was primarily interested in dynamic interactions between instructors and an e-learning Management System (Blackboard) with specific focus on the discussion board forum. We examined how instructors seek information to assess students’ input in an e-learning discussion board forum and determined which pedagogical features need to be improved to facilitate instructional activities. The findings suggest that the ability to easily track and respond to students’ post is the most important instructional activity to instructors while reading student posts and replying to students are the most frequent instructional activities. Interacting with students and facilitating group discussion are the most difficult instructional activities. Therefore, this study indicated that Blackboard discussion board designers may need to improve discussion board pedagogical features to make interaction with students and facilitating group discussion more convenient and accessible for instructors who must now forage for the information they need to assess student contributions.


E-learning management system Blackboard discussion board information foraging theory instructional activities pedagogical features 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanfei Ma
    • 1
  • Cathryn Friel
    • 1
  • Wanli Xing
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information Science and Learning TechnologiesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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