Analysis of Discussion Board Interaction in an Online Peer-Mentoring Site

Regina Ruane, Vera Lee


This study uses Critical Discourse Analysis and Social Network Analysis to examine an online peer mentoring site created to unite first-year and third-year preservice teachers enrolled in an undergraduate teacher education program. The peer mentoring site was developed to provide both first-year preservice teachers and more experienced peers the opportunity to discuss, share, and learn both from and with one another. The study demonstrated that the online peer mentoring site supported valuable interactions and professional communications among first-year and third-year students. In particular, the preservice teachers engaged with one another to share their experiences and learning as they prepared to be teachers. This study has implications for the field of undergraduate education in its demonstration that an online peer mentoring site can allow for the cultivation of learning, ideas and knowledge exchange, and support of students learning in informal environments. This research also has implications for future research to determine how different populations of students use an online peer mentoring site to interact with their peers and the outcomes that emerge. Such data could inform future development of peer mentoring sites and similar learning spaces.


Peer-mentoring, computer-supported collaborative learning, online learning, higher education

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