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Title: Assessment of students' participation in asynchronous online discussions : a case study of a Saudi university
Author: Addoweesh, Khawla Khaled
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 224X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Asynchronous online discussion has the potential to offer equal participation opportunities (Bali & Ramadan, 2007), improve critical thinking skills and facilitate collaborative learning (Lee & Tsai, 2011). However, the success of asynchronous online discussion is based on students' active participation and the depth of their contributions (Mazzolini & Maddison, 2003). Several studies have confirmed that the quality of students' discussion can be maintained by assessing students' contributions. This research, therefore, aims to identify effective assessment criteria with which to assess students' participation in online discussion. The study employed a qualitative case study methodology to explore the assessment of asynchronous discussion in depth. This involved five cases and was conducted at King Saud University. Five instructors and 39 students participated in the study. Students' and instructors' perspectives were triangulated by obtaining data through different methods: in class and online observation, focus groups and semi-structured interviews. An inductive approach to data analysis was followed, informed by constructivist grounded theory. Data were analyzed in two stages: the first stage involved the in-depth analysis of each case. Then, the second stage involved a cross-case analysis of the five cases. Seven categories of assessment criteria emerged: sufficient answers and explanation, participation, originality of contributions, writing format and structure, posting within the timeframe, use of external resources and applying common ground rules. The cross-cases analysis resulted in the development of a framework for the assessment process, elements of this framework are: Preparation for the online discussion task, assessment design, before and after task feedback. This study contributes to the body of knowledge in terms of understanding the role of assessment in students' participation in online discussion This study contributes to the body of knowledge in terms of understanding the role of assessment in students' participation in online discussions. Findings from both the learners' and instructors' experiences allow an in-depth understanding of the assessment process. This study also provides a practical framework for instructors who wish to integrate online discussions to their teaching practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Participation ; Students