Saturday, May 4, 2013

SMUMN - DRAFT Abstract: Online Discussion in a Middle School Social Studies Classroom

DRAFT - Cross-Post for St. Mary's University Master's Program:

The Impact of Online Discussion in a Middle School Social Studies Classroom

Ryan Canton
St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West, Albertville, MN

The purpose of this action research was to investigate the impact of online discussion in a middle school social studies classroom. In order to determine the effects of the discussion students were asked to respond to five discussion prompts using the online learning management system, Schoology. In addition to their response to the five prompts, they were to respond to at least two other classmate's responses for each prompt. Students were provided approximately 15 minutes in class to compose their responses. If students did not complete the assigned posts in that time they were to complete them on their own time outside of school.

The data collection process involved an analysis of the completion rates of student responses. Student responses were also analyzed for depth of thought and quality of the initial response to each prompt. Upon the completion of of the research students also completed a survey about the use of online discussion as an alternative to face to face discussion. Lastly, anecdotal evidence was collected to gain a more complete view of the impact of online discussion.

A conclusion will go here when the data collection and analysis is complete.