• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by ciaran.oleary@dit.ie 10 years, 2 months ago

eToolbox: Mapping Technologies to Learning - Discussion

Return to Frontpage


This form of learning requires students to interact with each other online to discuss issues.  This can be done synchronously or as in most cases asynchronously. In this case, we will discuss two methods of asynchronous communication - discussion fora and blogs. We will discuss synchronous methods in the section on collaboration, as discussion forms a key part of collaboration.



Many different technologies can be used for discussion. Email is one of the oldest Internet technologies and was formed to allow almost immediate communication between Internet users globally. The invention of the World-Wide-Web in 1989 provided a new means of publishing information on the Internet, and let to the development of a host of Web 2.0 technologies. These technologies allowed users to contribute information as well as reading information. No longer did users need to wait for the owner of the website to update content - they could create content themselves. This opened up a wide range of new opportunities for discussion over the Internet. Discussion fora, or discussion boards, were one of the first such technologies. Using these, users can start threaded discussions open to the public. Blogs provide a means for Internet users to create online diaries, which can then be commented on by others. Microblogs, which are particularly suited to mobile technology users, provide means for short postings to be published, shared and responded to.


All of these technologies lead to new opportunities in education. Students can be facilitated in participating in discussions outside of the classroom, or indeed where no classroom exists (in the distance learning context). The educator can publish information on a blog or a discussion forum to keep in contact with students, and blogging and microblogging can be used to interface with global communities of interested parties and experts. 


In the sections linked to below, we have collected together resources which you, as an educator, can use to decide which technologies you would like to use for online discussion to support your students' learning. We also encourage you to contribute your view using the comment box on each page.



If you wish to add a comment suggesting additional content, please do so using the comment box below.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.