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Design Pattern: Chatflow (v2)




In face-to-face teaching situations the discussion is led and managed by a

central point - often the tutor, and all participants are part of this process including having an understanding o the historical context.


In an online environment both synchronous and asynchronous discussions occur. Where the asynchronous discussion occurs, the management of discussions for the learner can become difficult and the historic context is often lost. The loss of context can limit learners ability to engage with the discussion in a timely fashion - particularly when chat or forum posts are pushed down the list and effectively lost. 



This is relevant in a number of contexts:

  1. Where the platform used does not offer threaded discussion tools.
  2. Where the discussion thread becomes very long either with a high numbers of posts or very long posts.
  3. Where you cannot make particular high impact posts 'sticky'.


As a top level solution using a MOOC platform that offers threaded discussions should be considered, where this is not possible you might consider:


Third party forum tool  

Voting on posts

Filtering of threads and posts

Creating meaning from discussion

In Commonwealth of Learning MOOC on mobile for development learner lead use of Google doc as a collaborative document creation, this needs to be carefully managed as only 50 simultaneous editors allowed.

Data and References

Forum use

Designing asynchronous online discussion environments: Recent progress and possible future directions;jsessionid=7390769887EF1F1F76AFF2D372AC493A.f03t03?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

Wiki as a threaded discussion

Student engagement in distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded discussion forums and text-focused Wikis 

Google doc broke my MOOC 



Author(s): Yishay Mor, Steven Warburton
Published at: 04 Feb 2015 13:40 GMT
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