The Online Discussion Forum : A Reflection on Its Collaboration Potential in Higher Education

Numéro: 

4

Volume: 

21

Dossier: 

Nault, Geneviève

In this article, the author shares her practices as regards using the discussion forum, where the teacher plays the predominant role of guide rather than that of expert. From the outset, she sheds light on the collaborative potential of this technological tool and lists the various types of forums: general forums designed to channel exchanges such as those dealing with questions on the course (unfolding, assignments, reading material), technical forums for resolving difficulties and social forums with no link to learning activities; learning forums oriented toward a task or an activity such as forums dealing with debate, case studies and complex problem resolutions, as well as discussion forums supporting the realization of a team project, feedback forums between the peers and the repertory of resources. In ending, the author emphasizes the requirements linked to using the discussion forum and insists on its advantages: the democratisation of exchanges, the richness of group production, the quality of reflections as well as the development of a better understanding of what’s at stake in electronic communications.

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