Effects of Peer-Led Online Asynchronous Discussion on Undergraduate Students' Cognitive Achievement

  • Zha S
  • Ottendorfer C
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Abstract

Abstract This study investigated the effect of peer leadership on students' cognitive achievement in online asynchronous discussions. Undergraduate students from a large online course were randomly assigned into groups for four asynchronous discussions, with each group having two to three peer leaders. Results of the mixed-method analysis revealed that the quality of student leaders' lower-order cognitive achievement in online discussion was significantly better than that of student responders. Student leaders' higher-order cognitive level achievement in online discussion had at least the same quality as that of student responders. Moreover, both students' higher-order and lower-order cognitive achievement in discussions had positive and moderate correlation with students' course achievement. Further study should focus on methods to maximize student responders' cognitive achievement in online peer-led discussions.

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