Using asynchronous online discussion in blended learning environments: supporting three different student learning outcomes

Khe Foon Hew and Wing Sum Cheung
National Institute of Education

Blended learning is being utilized increasingly by many universities. Although this trend is expected to increase, it is important to note that successful blended learning does not occur automatically. Maximizing success in a blended learning environment requires careful consideration of the pedagogy, the application of the technologies used, and the facilitation of interaction among students. This paper reports three empirical studies that applied asynchronous online discussion in various blended learning environments and examines how it can support the following outcomes in student learning: (a) ill-structured problem-solving; (b) Chinese reading and writing; and (c) English argumentative writing. These case studies are described briefly, and their main findings are highlighted. The results will be very useful to other university faculty members who are interested in using asynchronous online discussion in their own blended learning environments.