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"Weighing the Risks of Excessive Participation in Asynchronous Online Discussions against the Benefits of Robust Participation" icon

Weighing the Risks of Excessive Participation in Asynchronous Online Discussions against the Benefits of Robust Participation

Many online courses require participation in asynchronous online discussions. While various studies aimed at measuring the efficacy of these discussions indicate that participation enhances learning, course design consultants commonly warn instructors to avoid schemes that could foster excessive student participation. Excessive participation should be of concern, for example, if students are likely to be distracted from more important coursework. The authors examine the relationship between student participation in asynchronous online discussions and final exam scores via regression and non-parametric analyses. Participation was determined to be a statistically significant predictor of final exam scores and course completion rates. No indication was found that participation, even at the most robust levels encountered (posting >19,000 words per semester), interferes with learning.

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