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This research was conducted as a field experiment that explored the potential benefits of anchoring in asynchronous online discussions for business statistics classes. Many students tend to perform poorly in these classes, which are usually taught using traditional methods with emphasis on lecturing, knowledge reproduction, and treatment of students as dependent learners. Course activities are typically centered on the teacher as the source of all knowledge and understanding. Moreover, student interactions are often limited to face-to-face meetings in the classroom, where students have exerted little effort towards engaging themselves. Online discussions show promise for improving students' learning in business statistics classes. We examined and compared the impact of anchored asynchronous online discussions (AAODs) and standard asynchronous online discussions (AODs) on students' participation and engagement in a blended learning environment. The findings show that AAODs facilitated more and better quality participation and engagement for undergraduate students.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Jan. 2012