Asynchronous and blended learning venues are experiencing rapid growth worldwide. Research which provides data to support student success in the increasing sector of online and blended delivery venues can be invaluable for students, course developers and instructors. The purpose of this research is to address a few fundamental questions that have not been adequately addressed in the literature; whether computer-mediated asynchronous discussions achieve the same or similar objectives of traditional synchronous discussions and what elements of an online discussion students found valuable, without value, neutral, or misleading. A mixed-methods survey was sent to all Business students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Worldwide) in both graduate and undergraduate programs. There were 513 usable responses that contained rich data about student perceptions of online discussions boards. Elements evaluated include faculty engagement, student engagement, overall activity value, good and bad practices, as well as student engagement preferences and naming conventions. Statistical analysis and text mining were performed to identify relationships and trends in the qualitative and quantitative data. The results indicated that students find value in online discussion boards although they do not accurately replicate a traditional classroom discussion. Many additional components of good and bad discussion board practices were discovered.
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