Mukabeta et al
Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies Vol. 2 (1), pp. 001-011, March 2014.
ISSN: 2354-225X © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 012414065
Enhancing Learning through Collaboration in an Online Discussion Forum: Students’ Perceptions in a Computer Architecture Course
Mukabeta Tarirayi*, Tunjera Nyarai,
Magomelo Munyaradzi, Ndumiyana David
Bindura University, Zimbabwe. P.O.Box 1020 Bindura, Zimbabwe.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +263772748158, +263734083470
This article describes the results of a qualitative analysis of online learning to support traditional learning forming a blended approach by introduction of an asynchronous discussion forum in a Learning Management System. A group of computer science students were introduced to an online discussion forum where they are able to participate and work together in order to build on their knowledge by posting to a number of discussion threads and sharing resources in an effort to enhance learning. Factors related to enhancing student engagement among online learners resulting from this study includes developing understanding of concepts by reading comments by other students, flexibility of access to learning materials and learner control over the pace of study aimed at developing greater learner reflection. A discussion forum has been chosen in a Learning Management System in order to achieve one learner community where materials can be shared and knowledge is built by power sharing between the lecturer and student. The research results show that implementation of an asynchronous discussion forum in a Learning Management System enhances student collaboration thereby improving learning.
Keywords: Collaboration; Engagement; Online-Learning; Discussion Forum; Learning Management System.