Asynchronous online discussion boards are a primary tool for instructors to cultivate social and cognitive presence in an online classroom. This article investigates the undergraduate student experience with remote learning during COVID-19 with the intent to examine the purpose and structure of online discussion boards. Researchers used semi-structured student interviews and student course evaluations to analyze learner perceptions of online class discussions. Though the goals of discussion boards are to provide a space for learner to learner interaction and to enhance critical thinking skills, discussion boards often fall short of these intended outcomes due to discussions feeling repetitive and artificial. Findings indicate that long-held traditional practices can be improved with different strategies; students value opportunities to ask questions and have choice. Reimagining the structure of online discussion boards can increase engagement and deepen learning.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Bethany Schultz; Christa Sandidge