“Wouldn’t you like to talk it over before having your people die?” Engaging Middle School Students in Inter-school Online Synchronous Discussions

April 19, 2013

While peer-to-peer online synchronous discussions offer students a means to engage those from other schools in discussions about matters of public importance, existing research offers middle school teachers limited insight into how best to conduct such discussions. This study examined the peer-to-peer interaction of three classes of students from three separate schools as they participated in a series of sequenced online synchronous discussions about why nations go to war. The results of the study suggest ways to strengthen the instructional support system provided during such discussions so as to foster better interschool and peer-to-peer participation and higher-level posts by students.

Journal of Research Center for Educational Technology, Kent State University

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