Theoretical Foundations of Online Discussion Pedagogy
Asynchronous online discussion provides many benefits to learners, from its time and location flexibilities to collaborative learning and self-regulated learning. Many educators now view asynchronous online discussion as a valuable pedagogical tool to support student learning. Decision on how to use this pedagogical tool is largely based on one’s philosophical and theoretical positions and specific curriculum objectives of teaching and learning. This paper 1) summarizes current research on effective pedagogy of asynchronous online discussion and 2) analyzes the theoretical foundations of those pedagogical recommendations. A literature review of asynchronous online discussion pedagogy is based on research papers published from 2003 to 2008. Pedagogy recommended in the research is categorized under instructional/learning goals, instruction/learning process, instructional/learning outcome, and instructional/learning evaluation. The theoretical framework used for the analysis includes behaviorist learning theories, cognitive learning theories, constructivist learning theories, and humanistic learning theories. The analysis provides references for educators who plan to integrate asynchronous online discussion into the curriculum.
Keywords: Asynchronous Online Discussion, Pedagogy, Behaviorist Theories, Cognitive Theories, Constructivist Theories, Humanistic Theories
Dr. Li Zhou
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Department of Early Childhood Education, Ohio University_Zanesville
Dr. Da Zhang
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science Technology, Ohio University - Lancaster