Dorman, Marilyn and McDonald, Jacquelin (2005) Engagement by design: marrying pedagogy and technology for better learning conversations via asynchronous electronic discussions. In: Son, Jeong-Bae and O'Neill, Shirley, (eds.) Enhancing learning and teaching: pedagogy, technology and language. Post Pressed, Flaxton, Australia, pp. 101-118. ISBN 1-876682-85-X
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With increased use of online discussion groups, academic staff have greater opportunities to see how students are responding to and addressing learning issues. Careful attention to pedagogical issues at the course design and writing stages helps to optimize student engagement with the learning content, particularly by integrating such discussions into the course design. Further, by making explicit links to course objectives, teaching and learning goals, and the broader expectations of other key stakeholders in the Faculties and professional bodies, it is more likely that participants will view the discussions as an integral part of an authentic learning environment. This paper will use the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) instructional design approach as a framework for planning the incorporation of electronic discussions as a learning tool, at the same time allowing for flexibility to accommodate changing learner/teacher needs. Ideally, the pedagogical issues need to be addressed at the initial stages of development. However, in reality this ideal may not always be possible, so this paper will suggest other strategies for incorporating discussion groups into the learning and teaching environment after the key resources have been developed. This discussion of pedagogical issues draws on contemporary literature, and is supported by examples from various disciplines.
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