Fostering collaboration and learning in asynchronous online environments

Karen M. Gibson


This case study, based on social constructivist learning theory, analyzed the quality of interaction and learning taking place during asynchronous discussions in a graduate level course by focusing on the types of instructional strategies employed to foster discussion. Qualitative and quantitative procedures were used to analyze knowledge construction processes based on previously conducted research that provided a set of indicators for replication in coding and comparison of results. The role of facilitator was closely monitored in relation to the quality of responses in regard to knowledge construction in order to determine the types of instructional strategies best suited to draw students into online discussions that are constructivist, collaborative approaches to building knowledge.


Constructivist Learning; collaborative learning; online learning; computer-mediated learning

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