The effect of moderator’s facilitative strategies on online synchronous discussions

Ya-Hui Hsieh, Chin-Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Moderators play an important role within a computer supported collaborative learning environment, and thus facilitative strategies and communication technology are nowadays used to enhance students’ learning. This study proposed facilitative strategies as a guide for students’ learning, and explored the influence of these strategies on the students’ online synchronous discussion. A total of 331 senior high school students from eight computer classes in northern Taiwan were recruited to participate in this study. They were randomly assigned into an experimental condition, with the moderators’ facilitation to complete online learning tasks, and the control condition without moderators’ support. To fulfill the goal of the research, four strategies—helping students focus on the main topic, facilitating students’ making argumentation, giving students positive feedback, and helping students sustain threaded discussion—were adopted to facilitate the online synchronous discussion in the experimental condition. According to the results of the content analysis, four group discussion patterns were revealed, including collaboration, centralization, partial contribution, and non-interaction. The findings suggest that the moderator helped enhance the collaboration pattern and increase the online participation rate. In addition, it was found that the strategies of helping students focus on the main topic and giving students positive feedback were frequently employed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1708-1716
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this