Exploring the Dimensions of Online Discussion
Why is online discussion worth discussing? For starters, many conversations about this unique form of interaction have centered on its merits. Is it better or worse than face-to-face discussion? As interesting as those conversations have been, what merits analysis now are the implications of those features that differentiate online from face-to-face discussion. Online discussions are written exchanges minus nonverbal cues, offered asynchronously and with required comments and responses tied to teacher-provided structures. Those separated but interconnected features have implications for the teacher who plans, facilitates, and assesses the exchanges; for students who are learning to engage in digital academic discourse; and for how course content is to be learned.