Outcomes of Chat and Discussion Board Use in Online Learning: A Research Synthesis

Stephanie J. Blackmon University of Alabama


Online discussion boards are often used in traditional courses, hybrid courses, and fully online courses. Online chats and discussions can be particularly useful in fully online courses, as these communication connections are often students’ only means of connecting with each other and sharing ideas in an open forum. While traditional face-to-face courses, and even some hybrid courses, have the benefit of an in-class discussion, fully online courses often have the discussion board or chat functions as a means of class interaction. As professors continue forays into online-tool use, it is important to examine what the literature says, so far, regarding some of these tools. This research synthesis, therefore, investigates some of the student outcomes of discussion board/chat use in online learning.


Online Learning, Online Interactivities, Student Success in Online Courses

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