Title: Asynchronous Online Discussions: Perceptions on Second Language Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking

Year of Publication: March - 2014
Page Numbers: 48-54
Authors: Rachid Bendriss
Conference Name: The Third International Conference on E-Learning and E-Technologies in Education (ICEEE2014)
- Malaysia

Abstract:


This study was implemented in a foundation program at a U.S. university located in the State of Qatar. Participants were Arab students enrolled in an integrated advanced writing and reading course according to their results on the IELTS test. Their placement in the foundation program also required students to take courses in physics, chemistry, calculus, and biology, in addition to the English for Academic Purposes course. The instructor identified a need to enhance writing fluency and focused discussions through the use of an online tool available in the course’s learning management system (LMS) called Canvas. This study concentrated on Arab second language learners’ perceptions of learning with technology in general and face to face versus online discussions in particular. It also explored students’ attitudes towards the role of asynchronous online discussions tool in reading comprehension and reflection, its efficacy in promoting an online writing community, and the learning challenges perceived by study participants.