Much current research exalts the benefits of having students facilitate weekly discussions in asynchronous online courses. This study seeks to add to what is known about student moderation through an analysis of the types of questions students use to spur each discussion. Prior experimental work has demonstrated that the types of questions posed by instructors influence the cognitive levels of responses, but little is known about the extent to which student moderators use these various question forms. Question types and the cognitive levels of responses in an online graduate course were analyzed, and it was found that students relied on a small number of question forms. In particular, students rarely asked questions directly related to weekly course readings, and did not ask any questions that made connections to previously studied course material. Questions that constrained student choice led to lower levels of responses compared to other question types.
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching