Changing relationship: Who is the learner and who is the teacher in the online educational landscape?
AbstractThis article focuses on the special role of students as discussion leaders and their engagement in the facilitation of online discussion in relation to the teacher's role. The methodology combined quantitative data of students' frequency behaviour with qualitative analysis of students' individual online contributions. Each contribution was analysed in relation to one of the six facilitation roles plus the direct instruction category. In the seven that were used to compare the discussion leader's role with the teacher's role, the discussion leaders performed higher than the teacher in the following: summing up and confirming, moving the discussion forward, focusing the discussion and debriefing. The teacher demonstrated more frequent behaviours in the following: direct instruction and encouraging and giving feedback. Scaffolding had a similar frequency for the discussion leader and the teacher with a slightly higher rate. The task given to each member to be a discussion leader enabled new relationships between the teacher and the learners and new relationships among the learners, with everyone being empowered, changing their learning experiences and promoting the learning of others in the community.
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