With increased demands for online courses, instructors are challenged to facilitate discussions that promote critical thinking and mastery of content. Synchronous and asynchronous discussion forums are used to create a Community of Inquiry (COI) across four respective disciplines and areas: English as a Second Language (ESL), Teacher Education, Industrial Technology, and Human Resource Development (HRD). Understanding the benefits and limitations of each forum and their applications allows instructors to facilitate quality online discussions that foster development of social, cognitive and teaching presence.


This article was first published in Academic Exchange Quarterly, here: http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/5284v3.pdf.


Rapid Intellect Group, Inc.

Date of publication

Summer 2013



Persistent identifier


Document Type


Publisher Citation

Delello, J. A., Everling, K. M., McWhorter, R. R., & Lawrence, H. (2013). Fostering online discussions. Academic Exchange Quarterly.

Included in

Education Commons



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