• A qualitative study of participation of students in online discussion in mathematics

      Seo, Daeryong
      Despite many recent developm ents in technology, there are still many people who are not fully utilizing advanced technologies to enhance learning. This issue has an impact on K-12 schools as well as higher education and makes a case for the development of better distance education programs, which can assist students in studying more effectively both in and out of the classroom. In particular, online discussion in distance education can encourage students who are having difficulty in solving mathematical word problems on tests. The purpose of this study was to understand the behavior, motivation, and interests of teacher education students who need remediation by means of online discussion in mathematics. In addition, this study aimed at investigating the benefits and drawbacks of online discussion boards when teacher education students participate in online discussions for math remediation as well as the degree to which an expert facilitator impacted the online remediation. For this study, 12 students participated in an online discussion forum related to mathematics word problems, and six students participated in virtual focus group interviews. The participants were divided into two groups: one with an online expert facilitator and one without. The results showed the importance of an online facilitator and social interaction in the online discussion board. Students posted and shared new ideas and opinions and enjoyed their online discussion activities. The reported advantages of the online discussion were no-time and space limitations and the improvement of critical thinking ability, and the reported disadvantages of the online discussion were time lag, only text -based settings, and unfami liar interface as well as the possibility of plagiarism of others’ ideas and opinions. This study took place over a period of one week for online discussion in mathematics word problems. It is hoped that the results of this study will have implications for educators working with distance education settings.