Improving academic outcomes: Does participating in online discussion forums payoff?

Charles Carceller*, Shane Dawson, Lori Lockyer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports on a study investigating the potential relationship between a student's discussion forum activity and their academic performance. The study also examined the influence of the delivery method (i.e. blended or fully online) on the impact that forum participation may have on a student's final mark. To address these aims, student forum participation data and teaching delivery method were extracted from the universities Learning Management System (LMS). The analysis identified that students who actively participate in their teaching unit's discussion forum are more likely to achieve a higher final mark than those that do not participate. It was also observed that the resulting effect of participation in a teaching unit's online discussion forum was greater for a blended delivery modal than for fully online teaching units. This study affirms how learning analytics data derived from online discussion forums can be proactively applied to enhance teaching and learning practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-132
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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