Tag Archives: pedagogical practice

Type: Evidence | Proposition: B: Teaching | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

This study examined the degree of teacher presence within the networks of high- and low-performing students. It found that teaching staff members were more than twice as likely to participate in the network of a high-performing student as they were in a low-performer network.
Teaching staff, through their participation and facilitation in the forums, had intended to promote a sense of community in the student cohort. Where a more factual orientation was asked of the students, staff often diminished their own presence to allow time for peer response and assistance, presuming that allowing space and time for peer-to-peer
engagements to evolve would benefit the entire student learning community. While staff attempted to respond to all discussion postings, high-performing students posted more conceptual questions and were thus perceived by staff to require some direction and assistance, given that the answers to these types of questions could not be directly located in the prescribed text. Thus, the teaching staff actively intervened to provide direction to new resources or to redirect discussion towards a solution, but the benefits flowed most often to the high performers.

Citation: Dawson, Shane. (2009). 'Seeing' the learning community: an exploration of the development of a resource for monitoring online student networking. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 736-752.