Title: Facilitating online learning activities through the discussion board: a first year university students' perspective

Authors: Tangikina Moimoi Steen

Addresses: David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia, City West Campus, 70 North Terrace, Adelaide, 5000, South Australia

Abstract: The discussion board as a learning tool has been used widely by educators to facilitate online learning. An internet survey of 109 indigenous and non-indigenous first year students at the University of South Australia was conducted to identify factors which encourage and discourage their use of the discussion board in a learning activity. The findings suggest that clarity of design, purpose and outcome of the learning activity is paramount to students' participation and engagement in the discussion board. Further, the role of the instructors and students must be clearly articulated from the start and throughout the learning activity. In particular, from the indigenous students' perspectives, they ranked highly the importance for instructors to understand the social and cultural aspects of their learning needs, which include developing and maintaining a sense of belonging to a learning community, building a good relationship with instructors and peers, and getting timely feedback from instructors.

Keywords: discussion boards; assessment; blended learning; online learning; learning activity; learning design; active participation; student learning; student engagement; learning engagement; indigenous students; non-indigenous students; first year students; university students; higher education; e-learning; electronic learning; Australia; social aspects; cultural aspects; culture; learning needs; learning communities; online communities; virtual communities; web based communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2015.066549

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2015 Vol.25 No.1, pp.77 - 102

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 24 Dec 2014 *

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