Effectively Moderating Electronic Discussions

19 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2005

See all articles by Stephen B. DeLoach

Stephen B. DeLoach

Elon University

Steve Greenlaw

University of Mary Washington

Date Written: May 24, 2005


While instructors are increasingly using electronic discussion boards in their classes, there is little agreement about how to best use this technology. As such, many instructors may simply attempt to use on-line discussions in the same way they use in-class discussions. There are, however, fundamental differences between the two. Because of this, the role and techniques used by moderators of on-line discussions should be different. Building on the previous work using electronic discussions to teach critical thinking in economics (Greenlaw and DeLoach 2003), this paper concentrates on strategies to effectively moderate on-line discussions. The primary job of the moderator is to insure that the discussion is continually making progress towards more advanced critical thinking. Moderator comments should be limited to helping students make the transitions associated with increasing cognitive complexity rather than leading them to pre-determined "answers."

JEL Classification: A2

Suggested Citation

DeLoach, Stephen B. and Greenlaw, Steve, Effectively Moderating Electronic Discussions (May 24, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=752624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.752624

Stephen B. DeLoach (Contact Author)

Elon University ( email )

Department of Economics
Campus Box 2075
Elon, NC 27244
United States
336-278-5943 (Phone)
336-278-5952 (Fax)

Steve Greenlaw

University of Mary Washington ( email )

1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
United States

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