Lessons Learned on Facilitating Asynchronous Discussions for Online Learning
The strategies used to facilitate online asynchronous discussions are the focus of this article. Previous research studies have investigated instructor-led discussion forums and facilitation strategies used by online tutors and course instructors. This article reports studies conducted to investigate alternative ways to design and facilitate online asynchronous discussions in the context of an online Master program in curriculum and instructional technology at a large university in the United States. Findings showed that online students preferred small group discussions led by their own colleagues in opposition to instructor-led discussions. When taking the lead on facilitating online asynchronous discussions, students use a variety of strategies more conducive to the generation of innovative ideas, authentic conversations and motivation to participate.