Knowledge Sharing by Students: Preference for Online Discussion Board vs Face-to-Face Class Participation

  • Shaheen Majid
  • Pan Yang
  • Huang Lei
  • Guo Haoran
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8839)


The purpose of this study was to investigate students’ preference for participation in face-to-face and online discussions, and the factors that can either motivate or pose barriers to knowledge sharing. A questionnaire was used for data collection and 149 post-graduate students from two public universities in Singapore participated in this study. It was found that a majority (82.5%) of the students preferred in-class face-to-face discussions for knowledge sharing and a majority of them agreed that the factors such as encouragement by instructors, challenging discussion topics, and thought provoking questions from instructors and classmates were likely to motivate them to participate. The motivating factors for participation in online discussions were: more time to refine ideas, less nervousness, and flexible access to online discussion boards. The major barriers to face-to-face participation were shyness and uninteresting topics. On the other hand, the major hurdles to online discussions were un-friendly interface and time constraints.


Knowledge Sharing Collaborative Learning Online Discussion Class Discussion English Language Proficiency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaheen Majid
    • 1
  • Pan Yang
    • 1
  • Huang Lei
    • 1
  • Guo Haoran
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore

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