2 Managing barriers that may reduce contributions to online forums
In a recent study, students identified some of the concerns they have in contributing to online forums (Griffin and Roy, 2019). Some of these concerns involved the behaviour of other students on online learning forums. A selection of these comments is shown in Figure 1.
Activity 3 What about you?
- Do any of the statements resonate with you in any way?
- Why have you identified these particular statements?
Some of the statements may mirror your own perceptions of contributing to forums. Others may be opinions that are either less relevant to you or you had not considered previously. You may enjoy participating in forums and believe that it helps you to articulate your own understanding further. Or you may, as Student E notes, avoid them ‘like the plague’.
These statements demonstrate that everyone has very different feelings and opinions about participating in and contributing to forums. This understanding is important because it can be a first step in reflecting on the use of forums. It can also help you to overcome any barriers which may prevent you from getting the most out of the online forum experience.