Journal of Information Systems Education


In recent years, we have observed a rising interest in studying the effects of Web 2.0 technologies on student learning. We learned that human behavior can be influenced by personal and environmental factors as in Bandura’s concept of “reciprocal causation.” For business statistics students, we implemented online discussions to extend student involvement beyond the walls of the classroom, increase their effort, and enhance their success. We chose business statistics because many students struggle in this course. In the past, in our efforts to aid with this issue, when we used standard online discussions, we observed that students had difficulty navigating through those discussions. They participated strictly out of compliance and several of their comments were repeats of each other. To this end, we implemented anchored discussions to assist with the navigation issue. We examined the effects of the two forms of online discussions based on the students’ feedback in essays they were asked to write at the end of the course. Using a qualitative data analysis, students’ self-efficacy emerged as an important theme. We found that anchored asynchronous online discussions (AAODs) are more likely to help increase students’ selfefficacy than standard online discussions (AODs). Moreover, AAOD students obtained statistically significant higher exam scores than students using AODs.



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