Type Paper
License CC BY 4.0

Students' perceptions and learning outcomes of online writing using discussion boards


This study explores asynchronous online discussions as a learning strategy for Japanese EFL students from various perspectives. A text analysis of learner posts and replies was performed to determine the quantity, quality, and accuracy of the written language produced. Student participation rates during all four online exchanges were measured to determine the influence that teacher participation within forum discussions had on the quantity and quality of learner posts and replies. Student feedback to a survey was examined to identify the degree to which students thought learning was enhanced through this learning experience and what factors contributed to these perceptions. Findings indicated that although there was a marked decline in the quality and quantity of written language produced, levels of participation and interactivity increased. Teacher participation in the online environment was shown to have less effect on student participation and interaction than did the number of students replying to posts. While the discussion board was perceived favorably by the majority of Japanese EFL students, motivation was influenced by perceptions of inadequacy regarding computer-based skills, by workload, and by cultural unfamiliarity with the constructivist approach to learning inherent in online discussions.


Nielsen, B. (2013). Students' perceptions and learning outcomes of online writing using discussion boards. The JALT CALL Journal, 9(2), 131-147. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v9n2.152