E-moderation of synchronous discussion in educational settings: A nascent pratice


Schwarz, B. B., & Asterhan, C. S. C. (2011). E-moderation of synchronous discussion in educational settings: A nascent pratice. Journal of the Learning Sciences , 20 (3), 395-442.
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E-moderation has been a common practice in a-synchronous discussions of post-secondary courses. We consider here e-moderation of synchronous discussions in the school context. We adopt a design research approach to elaborate an environment, the Argunaut system that fits the reality of classrooms in which moderation of several small group synchronous discussions in parallel is desirable. We describe the Argunaut system, and then describe an experiment in which a moderator could elaborate several strategies in two synchronous discussions (one with two groups in parallel, and one with four groups in parallel). Through the technique of cued retrospective reporting, we could identify those strategies and could show how technology and moderation are interwoven. We then assessed whether the actions of the moderator had some positive impact on the flow of the discussions. The positive findings that emerge from this study indicate that teachers can enact this novel practice in classrooms, enabling by such proper guidance for productive engagement in synchronous discussions of many students in the same class.

doi: 10.1080/10508406.2011.553257
Last updated on 03/25/2015