Online Discussion Forum as a Tool for Interactive Learning and Communication
Edeh Michael Onyema1, Edeh Chinecherem Deborah2, Alhuseen Omar Alsayed3, Quadri Noorulhasan Naveed4, Sumaya Sanober5
1Edeh Michael Onyema, Lecturer, Dept. of Computer Science, Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria.
2Edeh Chinecherem Deborah, Faculty of Law, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria.
3Alhuseen Omar Alsayed, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
4Quadri Noorulhasan Naveed, College of Computer Science, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.
5Sumaya Sanober, College of Arts and Science, Prince SattamBin Abdul Aziz University, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia.

Manuscript received on November 12, 2019. | Revised Manuscript received on November 25, 2019. | Manuscript published on 30 November, 2019. | PP: 4852-4859 | Volume-8 Issue-4, November 2019. | Retrieval Number: D8062118419/2019©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijrte.D8062.118419

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Abstract: The digital millennials are very interactive in nature. They love to learn and interact with their peers, teachers, relatives, and environment through digital platforms. These interactions are being facilitated by the increasing rate of internet penetration and emerging digital media across the globe. The nature of today’s learners has increased the demand for use of student-centred learning approach such as Online Discussion Forum (ODF) across different levels of education. Online Discussion Forum (ODF) is being employed as a supportive tool to enhance interactive learning and student-teacher communication. The present study developed an Online Discussion Forum nicknamed “CSC forum” with a view to promote interactive learning, and communication among students, and teachers at the Department of Computer Science, Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria. The “CSC forum” facilitates exchange of ideas among students regarding course content and assignments, and also improved the quality of communications and relationship between students and teachers. The platform has a “Live Chat” module where members can engage in active conversations, and participate on group discussions on the go. It also provides a framework for improving the department’s information literacy programme, and specifically students’ participation in active learning as a way of improving their digital literacy skills. Given the relative importance of ODF, teachers are required to devote more time on the forum to provide feedbacks to pending student’s queries/postings, and also to offer clarifications on trending topics being deliberated upon on the forum. The discussion forum presented in this study proved effective for student-teacher interactions, communication and information dissimilation to students on school/departmental activities. More so, the study affirms that teacher guidance is crucial to stimulate student’s interest and participation in online forum. While factors such as poor power supply; low student/teacher commitment, poor quality of postings, Abusive posts, delayed feedbacks, poor internet connections and time constraints were found to limit the success of online forum.
Keywords: Online Discussion Forum, Interactive learning, e-learning, M-learning, Communication.
Scope of the Article: E-learning.