Proposal Abstract

This session will present the results of a comparative study of written learning communities and student engagement in two online courses. To compare the effectiveness of blogs versus discussion boards as formats for asynchronous interaction, we surveyed students and accessed the students' postings using both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to explore patterns of participation, quality of participation, and perceptions of community. Results indicate that students preferred blogs over discussion boards, and blog postings are both longer and garner more peer comments than discussion boards. However, discussion board postings were more academic, and blog postings more social. Attendees will be invited to offer possible interpretations of our data and to discuss the following questions: What are the essential differences between blogs and discussion boards? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each format? How might students' feelings of engagement compare to professors' views of student engagement in online courses?

Location

Room 1908

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 9th, 11:00 AM Mar 9th, 11:45 AM

Blogs or Discussion Boards? Which Better Promotes Student Engagement in Online Courses?

Room 1908

This session will present the results of a comparative study of written learning communities and student engagement in two online courses. To compare the effectiveness of blogs versus discussion boards as formats for asynchronous interaction, we surveyed students and accessed the students' postings using both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to explore patterns of participation, quality of participation, and perceptions of community. Results indicate that students preferred blogs over discussion boards, and blog postings are both longer and garner more peer comments than discussion boards. However, discussion board postings were more academic, and blog postings more social. Attendees will be invited to offer possible interpretations of our data and to discuss the following questions: What are the essential differences between blogs and discussion boards? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each format? How might students' feelings of engagement compare to professors' views of student engagement in online courses?