The quasi-experimental study reported in this paper examined whether students were more satisfied and learned more using an online discussion with peers or a hardcopy reflection with one-time feedback from the facilitator/instructor. A t-test was used to measure the difference between an experimental section and a comparison section of the same course on: post-course ratings of how well the course objectives had been achieved, what students hoped to gain from the course, satisfaction with the course, and student end-of-the-semester grades. Students in the group who participated in the weekly online discussions with peers indicated higher rates of accomplishing what they hoped to gain from the course than those who turned in weekly hardcopy reflections with one-time feedback from the facilitator/instructor. Students expressed a preference for the method of reflection used in their course section. However, the students' ages emerged as an important variable in their preference for online discussion. There was significant difference between the groups on ratings of how well the course objectives had been achieved, but not in satisfaction with the course, or course grades.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was made possible by a grant from the Archibald Bush Foundation.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Asynchronous discussion forum
- Online discussion
- Student satisfaction