The Impact of a Structured Protocol on Graduate Student Perception of Online Asynchronous Discussions

Laurie A Kimbrel


Instructors of online courses face unique challenges to ensure student interaction with course material. Sometimes, even the most exciting content is insufficient in an attempt to engage students. Online, asynchronous discussions offer promise as a means to increase student-to-student and student-to-content interaction and, ultimately, student satisfaction with online courses. The modification of structured discussion protocols designed for use in face to face environments offers instructors of online courses an efficient method of adding purpose and structure to asynchronous discussions. This research employed a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design to examine students' perception of asynchronous discussion before and after applying a structured discussion protocol that included a clear statement of purpose, directions for participation, and a grading rubric. Results from the data analysis indicated that student perception of online asynchronous discussions improved when a structure was added. Results also showed a lower level of dissatisfaction when discussions were structured.   

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Copyright (c) 2020 Laurie A Kimbrel

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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