This paper argues that online asynchronous discussion groups suffer from inherent pedagogical limitations, in spite of their abilities to provide sites for content focussed discussion and support for students. Discussion groups cannot overcome their structural limitations in constructing question and answer trees because they create end of learning cycle outputs rather than facilitating learning processes. In distance education, online discussion groups suffer an additional pedagogical weakness by constructing student-teacher discussions as semi-public discussions. Their mediated environment contributes implicit ‘veils of uncertainty’ that limit meaningful connectedness between learners and teachers. Developing an awareness of these problems can assist teachers and designers in identifying appropriate supports to student learning.
|Keywords:||Pedagogy, Learning Processes, Learning Cycle, Discussion Groups|
Lecturer, History/Politics, School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences, Monash University Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
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