The Use of Peer Facilitation in University Asynchronous Online Discussion Environment

By Khe Foon Hew and Wing Sum Cheung.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many university faculty members throughout the world have adopted the use of asynchronous online discussion as an integral learning activity in their student learning environment. Sometimes university faculty members may appoint students to be peer facilitators in an asynchronous online discussion forum. In this paper, we report four empirical studies that examined peer facilitation and how it could promote the following two major outcomes: (a) increasing students’ online participation rate, and (b) fostering higher levels of knowledge construction. We briefly describe these four case studies and extract the major lessons learned. We believe that these lessons would be useful to other university faculty members who are interested in using peer facilitation in their asynchronous online discussion environments.

Keywords: Peer Facilitation, Asynchronous Online Discussion

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 753.920KB).

Dr. Khe Foon Hew

Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Institute of Education, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Dr. Khe Foon Hew is with the Learning Sciences and Technologies academic group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research interests include online learning, and student cognition in computer-supported environments.

Dr. Wing Sum Cheung

Associate Professor, Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Institute of Education, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Dr. Wing Sum Cheung is an Associate Professor of Learning Sciences and Technologies Academic Group at National Intitite of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His reserach focuses on asynchronous online discussion, e-learning design, and instructional design.

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