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    A tidal wave of discussion: How active discussion produced outstanding results.

    In May 2013 one of my online dissertation cohorts at Edge Hill achieved outstanding results - 57% of students (n=47) obtained a First in the module. This presentation will focus on my (the tutor’s) experience, outlining the approach taken and the rationale – as well as reflecting on the experience since. The main tool was a series of discussion boards (2,573 posts with over half the cohort engaging), combined with web conferencing and student tracking. Colleagues have suggested one of the main reasons for the success was my implicit belief that the technology would benefit the student experience; perhaps my faith made it work? I’ve taken this approach with other cohorts, and although the success has not been replicated, anecdotal evidence (personal tutorials with parallel cohorts) indicates that the open feedback given on discussion boards has had a significant impact on outcomes. Also – the discussions have been used, retrospectively, by two students that intercalated in 2013 – their grades being First / Iii.

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