Student Perceptions of Face-to-Face and Online Discussions: The Advantage Goes To . . .
Author(s)Meyer, Katrina A.
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AbstractThirteen students in a graduate-level course on Historical and Policy Perspectives in Higher Education held face-to-face and online discussions on five controversial topics: Diversity, Academic Freedom, Political Tolerance, Affirmative Action, and Gender. Students read materials on each topic and generated questions for discussion that were categorized by Bloom’s taxonomy so that the level of questions in the two discussion settings would be closely parallel. Upon completion of each discussion, they answered questions that addressed depth and length of the discussion, ability to remember, and a self-assessment of how the student learned. Students’ assessments show a consistent preference for the face-to-face discussion but a small number of students preferred the online setting. However, what is perhaps more interesting is a minority of approximately one-third of the students who perceived no difference between the settings, or that the two settings were perhaps complementary.