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Student-facilitators' roles in moderating online discussions


Dr. Qiyun Wang, LST, NIE, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616. Email:


Intellectual, social, managerial and technical are four commonly reported categories of facilitation in online discussions. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether these four broad categories of facilitation were equally applied in online discussions and which specific skills were perceived to be more important. In this study, students were facilitators of online discussions. Each student-facilitator led a group discussion and participated in two additional discussions moderated by other student-facilitators. Three groups of students were selected for data collection. Results indicated that the intellectual, social and managerial categories of facilitation were highly applied, while technical facilitation was less used in the online discussions. Also, summarising discussions was perceived to be the top facilitation skill. This paper presents findings of the study and discusses issues involved in the study.