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The following describes a study using an asynchronous discussion tool to facilitate a scientific discussion among students. The idea is that the students gather information and think critically about topics relevant for their studies, and also that the debate form the basis for a larger project work. Feedback from the students was elicited using a survey and informal feedback orally during group sessions. Although the students are reluctant to express strong opinions in front of their fellow students, the use of asynchronous discussion tools to gain insight into a new field worked quite well. As a starting point for project work the use of asynchronous discussion tools were on the other hand felt as ineffective by the students. In a future study the authors suggest that giving better explanations to what a scientific discussion is and giving multiple separate deadlines for their forum postings will improve the effectiveness.
Date of Conference: 21-23 Sept. 2011