Should Instructors Require Discussion in Online Courses? Effects of Online Discussion on Community of Inquiry, Learner Time, Satisfaction, and Achievement

  • Moon-Heum Cho Sungkyunkwan University
  • Scott Tobias Kent State University at Stark
Keywords: online discussion, learner time, instructor involvement in discussion, community of inquiry, online interaction, satisfaction

Abstract

Online discussion is a commonly used means to promote student understanding of a topic and to facilitate social interaction among students or between students and instructor; however, its effects on student learning in online learning environments have rarely been investigated.  The purpose of this study was to examine the role of online discussion in student learning experiences measured with community of inquiry, learner time, satisfaction, and achievement.  One instructor taught the same online course for three consecutive semesters using three different conditions.  During one semester enrolled students engaged in no discussion, during another semester they engaged in discussion without instructor participation, and in the remaining semester they engaged in discussion with active instructor participation.  No significant differences were found among conditions in cognitive presence and the instructor’s teaching presence, whereas significant difference was found in social presence among conditions.  No significant differences among conditions were found time spent on Blackboard, course satisfaction, and student achievement.  Implications for online teaching and learning as well as for designing an online course conclude the paper.

Author Biographies

Moon-Heum Cho, Sungkyunkwan University

Department of Eduacation

Associate Professor

Scott Tobias, Kent State University at Stark

Human Development & Educational Studies

Assistant Professor

Published
2016-03-01
How to Cite
Cho, M.-H., & Tobias, S. (2016). Should Instructors Require Discussion in Online Courses? Effects of Online Discussion on Community of Inquiry, Learner Time, Satisfaction, and Achievement. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v17i2.2342
Section
Research Articles