Travis N. Thurston, Kacy Lundstrom, and Christopher González
Utah State University
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Asynchronous discussions can challenge even experienced online learners and teachers: forums can become perfunctory hoops for students to jump through, particularly in the common PPR (prompt, post, reply) format, in which students answer a prompt and then reply to one or more other students. As a peer reviewer for online courses, I have seen rich and insightful discussions that engage students and promote learning, as well as forums that scarcely resemble discussions at all. Research on cultivating dialogue in online discussions has targeted primarily upper-division or graduate courses (see Andreson, 2009; Delahunty, 2018; Delahunty et al., 2014; Garrison et al., 1999); few publications address discussions with first-year college students (see Peterson & Caverly, 2006, for a notable exception). Much of this research is written for instructors who regularly teach online; it may be neither familiar nor accessible to faculty who must shift to hybrid or online instruction in response to unforeseen circumstances, such as the pandemic of 2020–2021.
Moore, M. (2021). Asynchronous discussions for first-year writers and beyond: Thinking outside the PPR (prompt, post, reply) box. In Thurston, T. N., Lundstrom, K., & González, C. (Eds.), Resilient pedagogy: Practical teaching strategies to overcome distance, disruption, and distraction (pp. 240-259). Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.26079/a516-fb24.