• Advantages

  • May increase participation
    May increase student involvement (because of time independence)Encourages peer-tutoring and peer-learning
    Encourages a student-centred approach
    Encourages deep understanding and deep learning (because reflection time is allowed)
    Facilitates collaborative work, for on- and off-campus groups
    Provides records of interations and discussions (for later reference if necessary)

  • Disadvantages

  • Usually text-based, thus providing no non-verbal cues to enhance meaning or indicate tone
    Inevitably a learning curve so discussion can be slow to start
    Assessing online activity remains problematic (eg paraphrasing vs. original contributions)
    Encouraging active participation can be difficult
    Managing large volumes of discussion can be time-consuming. It may require students to learn appropriate online communication skills and tutors to learn new online moderation skills (or adapt existing skills)

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