Benefits and Challenges of Virtual Collaboration in Discussion Boards

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We live in a world of advanced technology. One important aspect of this technology is the growing of educational opportunities that are now available beyond the conventional face-to- face setting in classroom learning. Today students are entering college with a vast knowledge of the computer and Internet. This gives colleges a great opportunity to provide students with different means of educational techniques such as online collaboration in discussion boards. Many organizations are using this technology for easy transfer of communication world wide. The discussion board is an internet forum that provides instant exchange of communication between a computer, instructor and students. Communication is delivered through web pages and e-mail. Through the discussion board questions are asked and answered from the students and instructor. The subjects of the discussion boards are primarily the same as that of on-campus classes. This paper is to focus on the benefits and challenges of collaboration in discussion boards (Cooper). A great benefit of online collaboration is that is gives each student a chance to be heard. Students are willing to engage in conversation that is more in depth and revealing of their thoughts which may build self-esteem in students. This may be because a student feels more anonymous. No one can see a person in online classes. Students feel free to share ideas and even challenge the instructor because there is no face-to-face dilemma. Sometimes it is easier for people to communicate through writing. Students may feel more comfortable expressing and sharing ideas when responding in discussion boards. Also there is a deeper level of thinking because a person can see what they are going to say and correct errors before it is submitted. Discussion boards may make it easier to develop social interaction skills and help develop oral communication skills. Virtual collaboration in a discussion board can present a number of benefits and...
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