Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Fadde, Peter


Asynchronous discussion board (ADB) is considered to be a key online learning component. Although ADB has become an important teaching method in higher education for blended courses, the literature shows low levels of both the quality and quantity of learner interaction in the discussion boards of Saudi blended learning courses. The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of different blended learning discussion formats on the motivation level of learners, the quality of ADB posts, and the quantity of ADB posts in a blended information and communication technology (ICT) course. The mode of online instruction was the independent variable with two levels: ADB-alone and blended online instruction that combined live virtual classroom (LVC) and ADB (ADB+LVC). The study took the form of a quasi-experimental design and a total sample of 42 students was involved. Learner motivation levels were measured using Keller’s Course Interest Survey (CIS). The ADB quantity was defined as the number of posts by one student in one discussion forum divided by the number of participants in that forum. The ADB quality was measured using a comprehensive rubric. This study found no statistically significant differences in motivation level and quantity of ADB posts between the ADB-alone group and ADB+LVC group. This study did find a significant difference in ADB quality scores between the two groups. The study contributed to improving Saudi higher education’s online practices by exploring ways to improve interactions amongst students and their peers as well as their instructors in online or blended courses.




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