Improving Collaborative Skills by Computer Science Students through Structured Discussion Forums

By Moanes H. Tibi.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 31, 2015 $US5.00

Asynchronous discussion forums have been examined for their usefulness in promoting online learning among students. Recent research has shown that structured discussion forums are more effective for the improvement of critical thinking skills than are unstructured discussion forums. This study proposed a structure for discussion forums and investigated its impact on the improvement of collaborative skills by computer science students. In this study a survey design in the form of a questionnaire was used for measuring collaboration among students in the discussion forums and the improvement of their collaborative skills. One hundred twenty three students from two academic education colleges participated in seven fully online computer science courses. The main findings of the study showed that the students of the structured discussion forum significantly improved their collaborative skills in comparison to the students of the unstructured discussion forum. The findings of the study can contribute to the field of asynchronous online learning in providing a structure for discussion forums that has the potential to increase the effectiveness of online collaborative discussions and thereby the quality of online learning.

Keywords: CMC, Online Learning, Structured Asynchronous Discussion Forums, Collaborative Learning, Collaborative Skills, Problem Based Learning, Project Based Learning

Journal of Technologies in Education, Volume 10, Issue 3-4, September 2015, pp.27-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 31, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 601.901KB)).

Dr. Moanes H. Tibi

Head of Computer Science Department, Beit Berl Academic College, Beit Berl - Kfar Saba, Israel, Israel