A Systematic Review of Empirical Studies on Participants' Interactions in Internet-Mediated Discussion Boards as a Course Component in Formal Higher Education Settings

Hong Zhou


This systematic review and synthesis of existing empirical studies examines peer-reviewed research articles published between January 2000 and May 2014 on the use of Internet-mediated discussion boards in higher education settings with a specific interest in the participants’ interactions. Forty-two primary studies were examined after a systematic search and full text review. The findings from the primary studies regarding participants’ interactions were analyzed using constant comparison coding techniques. The analysis and its results indicate several potential directions for future research, and connect the primary studies to provide a more holistic understanding of the participants’ interactions in Internet-mediated discussions in the higher education setting.


Systematic review, online discussion, interaction, higher education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v19i3.495