Using Online Discussions to Support Student Learning when Re-Designing a 12-Week Face-to-Face Course into One Week Online
Abstract: Due to institutional changes in the scheduling of a 12-week face-to-face course, it was required to be offered within a one-week block online. Using a blended approach, online learning modules and synchronous online lectures were added to the course to ensure all content from 12 weeks was provided to the students in one week. Daily online discussion forums were created for students to have opportunity to discuss class content from the online synchronous class lectures and the asynchronous online learning modules. Online discussion forums have potential to support and extend student learning from the face-to-face context to an online environment. The online discussion environment enables students time to reflect on class content and participate in collaborative learning through written discussion, inquiry, and critical thinking. With the introduction of online discussion forums as a required criterion for the course, it was necessary to develop a marking rubric to determine student performance and for grade inclusion in the course.