- The use of web-based discussion forums to enhance traditional classrooms and web-based distance learning environments are growing exponentially. Research on discussion forums have produced mixed results on learning outcomes. The purpose of this research was to classify the tasks that were assigned to undergraduate information sciences students using discussion forums and to examine the effects of these tasks on the learner's knowledge outcomes. Results showed that debates produced the most favorable learning outcomes while recall and simple posting of ideas resulted in the poorest learning outcomes. The results have implications for all instructors using web-based discussion forums in their classes. American Society for Engineering Education, 2007.