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Supporting digital engagement: an evaluation of the use of a Guide for effective development and facilitation of online discussion boards


Douglas, T and Mather, C and Earwaker, L and James, A and Murray, S, Supporting digital engagement: an evaluation of the use of a Guide for effective development and facilitation of online discussion boards, Teaching Matters 2019, 26 November, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Conference Extract]

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Facilitating student involvement is integral for successful student engagement when using digital technologies. Academic staff therefore need to be confident in offering an online pedagogy to enable peer-peer learning using a networked approach to learning and teaching. Facilitated asynchronous online discussion boards are known to provide a flexible, constructive form of professional learning to support student learning (e.g. Thomas & Thorpe, 2019) and enable currency of unit content which prompted us to develop a Guide for the effective use of online discussion boards. Evaluation of the usefulness of the Guide (launched at the University of Tasmania in 2018) gives a snapshot of the worth of this resource within and beyond the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

Google analytics and download data from the UTAS Open Access Repository (ePrints) analysed using Excel (VXX) indicate that the guide has been downloaded mainly from within Australia but also from China, South East Asia, North America, the United Kingdom and Germany, using a variety of search engines. Access to the guide increases during advertising campaigns and at the beginning of the main semesters with visitors accessing specific information according to relevant needs rather than browsing. There is a high proportion of new sessions each month indicating that the Guide is appealing to a growing audience over time. Communications with UTAS staff indicate that it has been a valuable resource to enhance online communication. Findings indicate that the Guide is contributing to interest in the pedagogical use of online discussion boards at a global level.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:digital, engagement, evaluation, discussion board, facilitation
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and instruction technologies
UTAS Author:Douglas, T (Ms Tracy Douglas)
UTAS Author:Mather, C (Dr Carey Mather)
UTAS Author:Earwaker, L (Ms Louise Earwaker)
UTAS Author:James, A (Ms Allison James)
UTAS Author:Murray, S (Ms Sandra Murray)
ID Code:136173
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2019-12-04
Last Modified:2019-12-04

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