Using e-learning dialogues in higher education

Eileen Webb, Alan Jones, Philip Barker, Paul Van Schaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Dialogue is arguably one of the most important components of any learning process. However, as student numbers increase and more emphasis is given to electronic delivery of courses, opportunities for effective dialogue may be missed. The technology to support e-learning dialogue is readily available, but design of the dialogue structures and understanding of learners' online communication behaviour requires further research. This paper reports on a study of the use of asynchronous discussion forums to support online dialogue in undergraduate learning and teaching in two groups of students. Initial empirical evidence, obtained from online communication behaviour data and assessment results, is presented to support a positive association between students' participation in e-learning dialogues and learning outcomes. Other factors that could influence effective exploitation of e-learning dialogues such as tutor intervention, students' perceptions, dialogue quality and learning outcomes are discussed, along with implications for the design of such systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004


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