Peers supporting peers through structured bulletin boards
Apple University Consortium
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Communications and Multimedia
On-line forums or bulletin boards provide opportunity and potential for collaborative work, dialogue and study that can increase the flexibility of learning while motivating participants. By enabling peerMto-peer interaction, online bulletin boards can support the essential elements of a learning conversation by providing scope for discussion, dialogue and interaction. The structure of the bulletin boards used in this investigation were carefully considered, and based on cognitive apprenticeship models of learning, whereby learning is scaffolded by peers and experts. In the particular environment of the study, technology is integral and supportive of the social processes of learning by enabling asynchronous communication. The combination of peer-supported teams and tasks designed for selfdirection supported the key learning outcomes of collaboration, social responsibility and decision-making.