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Choices of approaches in e-moderation: conclusions from a grounded theory study

Vlachopoulos, Panos; Cowan, John


Panos Vlachopoulos

John Cowan


Much has been published in recent years about the desirable nature of facilitated interactions in on-line discussions with educational purposes. However little has been reported about the roles which tutors actually adopt in real life learning contexts, how these range between ‘tutoring, ‘managing’ and ‘facilitating’, and what the distinctions between these three roles may be. In this paper choices of priorities in e-moderation, which were made in three naturalistic (real life) case studies by three higher education practitioners, are identified and discussed. These contrasting approaches were captured and analysed using grounded theory principles. The paper also discusses these occasions when the facilitation was less effective than might have been desired. It finally summarises the potential of various approaches within e-moderation – and some of the attendant risks. The finding is that principles and practices developed for face-to-face support of student-directed learning were found equally applicable in e-moderated online group work, despite several significant differences between the two types of setting.

Keywords: higher education, e-learning, e-moderation, asynchronous discussions, learning outcomes, grounded theory


Vlachopoulos, P., & Cowan, J. (2010). Choices of approaches in e-moderation: conclusions from a grounded theory study. Active learning in higher education, 11, 213-224.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2010-11
Deposit Date Sep 7, 2012
Publicly Available Date Sep 7, 2012
Print ISSN 1469-7874
Electronic ISSN 1741-2625
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Pages 213-224
Keywords higher education; e-learning; e-moderation;asynchronous discussions; learning outcomes; grounded theory;
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