Shaping Learners’ Online Dialogues: The Role of Discourse Models
Vanessa P. Dennen
This paper examines whether instructor modeling of expected discourse is useful for preparing students to engage in productive online learning dialogues. Data from four online classes, two which had an instructor providing a dynamic model within the discussion itself and two which did not, are examined to see if learners met expectations in terms how they wrote individual messages and how they engaged in dialogue. Findings show that students did follow the models set forth by their instructors to achieve the desired discussion performance, and that in the absence of a model learners failed to engage in discussion at the desired level. Additionally, it was possible to fade the modeling within the two classes that had a model and maintain learner performance.