Student-teachers’ Perceptions of Online Discussion Forums and Continuous Asynchronous Tasks in Learning and Teaching

By Tsafi Timor.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

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Previous research indicated that the level of integration of computer technology in teaching is limited and marginal. This study aimed at the examination of pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards the use of asynchronous tasks and online forums (discussion groups) that were integrated in an academic course as part of their studies in a college of education in Israel. The online asynchronous procedure lasted 4 weeks, consisted of 6 phases, and the class was divided into 5 forums. The research questions addressed participants’ perceptions of the learning experience and outcome of the use of the tool, their perceptions of the online group work on the forums as opposed to individual work, and their willingness to implement the tool in their future teaching. The method of investigation was content analysis, and students’ answers were ranked on a scale of one to three according to the three research questions to measure frequencies. An overall score was given to each question separately. Results demonstrated positive attitudes towards the use of online teaching tools and towards online discussion groups on the forums. However, gaps were found between participants’ attitudes and their willingness to implement these tools in current or future teaching, although most participants demonstrated a willingness to do so. As a result of the study, it is suggested that this tool be used during the course of studies at the college to a larger extent, so that student teachers can experience it before they are expected to use this technology in class.

Keywords: Online Teaching, Asynchronous Tasks, Online Forums

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 260.042KB).

Dr. Tsafi Timor

Pedagogical Instructor, Lecturer, Programme for Postgraduate Diploma in EducationEnglish Language Education Department, Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel

Dr. Tsafi Timor is a lecturer in the Kibbutzim College of Education in the Departments of English and in the Programme for Postgraduate Diploma in Education, where she is also a pedagogical instructor. Her main research interests are teacher education and pedagogy, class management, and the inclusion of students with learning disabilities in mainstream education. Tsafi is also a psycho-educational diagnostician of learning disabilities, with a special expertise in learning disabilities in EFL.