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Structuring Asynchronous Discussions to Incorporate Learning Principles in an Online Class:  One Professor's Course Analysis

Structuring Asynchronous Discussions to Incorporate Learning Principles in an Online Class: One Professor's Course Analysis

Eight sections of one online undergraduate course were analyzed to determine if the structure of the online discussions enhanced learning of course objectives as measured by course exams. Discussions were structured to incorporate learning principles associated with storing information in long term memory through control processes of meaningful learning, elaboration, and rehearsal in the form of distributed practice. Results indicate that grades on discussions correlate with exam grades and students who fully engage in the discussion activities have higher test grades than students who do not fully engage in discussion activities. The implications for online instruction and future research are discussed.
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