The use of asynchronous forum to enhance reading comprehension of distance learners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Internet is widely available in Malaysia and due to improved bandwidth, and students now spend considerable time reading online materials (hypermedia documents) in order to complete their assignments. This is especially the case for distance learners who have little opportunity to attend face-to-face tutorials and rely instead on course materials that are uploaded to the institution's website. This case study explored the extent to which an asynchronous forum enhances the reading comprehension of distance learners specific to Life Science shy permedia documents. As part of their assignments, students discussed two questions via the online forum which were designed with the intent of assisting them in developing fuller comprehension of two course units. Semi-structured interviews, observations and document analysis (online forum discussion threads) were employed to assess effects. It was found that feedback through discussion via an asynchronous forum enhanced levels of comprehension for the students involved. It was also found that an asynchronous forum provides ample time for students to read extensively and subsequently discuss subject materials when they are ready to do so, and in a convenient manner. It was also found that students obtained and shared information from a myriad of sources which promoted intensive and extensive reading. It is believed that this study provides insights that will assist course designers as well as teachers in increasing student reading comprehension through asynchronous forum, in terms of the needs, difficulties and requirements of distance learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-135
Number of pages12
JournalAsian Social Science
Volume8
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

comprehension
student
hypermedia
document analysis
life sciences
Malaysia
Reading Comprehension
Asynchronous
website
Internet
teacher
interview
Assignment
time

Keywords

  • Asynchronous forum
  • Distance learners
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

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title = "The use of asynchronous forum to enhance reading comprehension of distance learners",
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