Intelligent discussion boards© Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a case study on the creation of an intelligent discussion board (IDB) that promotes active participation of all students, better threading, and re-uses vast collections of discussions. Design/methodology/approach - This paper presents an IDB that was modeled like an intelligent tutoring system with a similar set of data sources, coding schemes, and dialog patterns. The system was tested with two undergraduate courses and quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to compare discussions on the IDB and the traditional discussion board. Findings - The results of the case study and analysis of discussion board postings showed that the IDB contained fewer unrelated postings than their traditional counterparts. Research limitations/implications - The IDB was created to overcome the challenges like students paraphrasing each other, lurking, and lack of cohesion in the postings. They can serve as an assessment tool for discussion forums. The IDB must guide the discussion without controlling the free flow of ideas. Further research with larger numbers of students and also in multiple domains is necessary. Practical implications - IDBs can be created with the existing resources and technologies and can serve as an assessment tool. Promoting better communication can lead to improved learning with asynchronous discussion boards. Originality/value - This paper presents the first description of an IDB that can overcome challenges to traditional discussion boards and can also serve as a valuable assessment tool. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wijekumar, K. K., & Spielvogel, J.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • May 2006