Increasing authentic participation in asynchronous online discussions: Tips for instructors and instructional designers
Abstract: Asynchronous online discussion has become a staple of many higher education courses. This study was designed to understand more fully social identity development within undergraduate online discussions. Using a case study design, the authors examined the online discussions of five students aged 20-25 who had senior status at a four-year university in the Midwest. Specifically, the research examined students’ impression management techniques to develop social identities within asynchronous online discussions. Findings indicate a variety of factors that influence how the participants developed their social identities using elements of social presence and facework. How participants develop their social identities influenced their participation within the online discussions, ranging along a spectrum from avoidance to one-way participation to bi-directional interaction. Based on the results of this study, suggestions for instructors and instructional designers are provided.
Presider: Kimberly Harrison, Aurora University