Benefits of An Online Discussion List in A Traditional Distance Education Course


This paper analyses and evaluates the use of an asynchronous online discussion list introduced to an established distance education print based course on recreational drug use and abuse. This discussion list was established in order to be able to meet a course objective of challenging assumptions and attitudes about drug use, which was difficult to measure in the previous format. This paper chronicles the introduction and evaluation of an asynchronous discussion board based on the constructivist model of learning. It demonstrates the benefits gained from adding an on-line discussion list, including attitudinal change and the opportunity for academic discourse between students.

KEYWORDS: Asynchronous Online Discussion, Online Learning, Distance Education, Constructivist Learning, Social Presence, Drug Use and Attitudinal Change.