A Proposed Model for Authenticating Knowledge Transfer in Online Discussion Forums

Jan P. Tucker, Stephanie YoungGonzaga, Jaclyn Krause


Discussion forums are often utilized in the online classroom to build a sense of community, encourage collaboration and exchange, and measure time on task. A review of the literature revealed that there is little research that examines the role of the online discussion forum as a mechanism for knowledge transfer. Researchers reviewed 21 course sections of a graduate organizational behavior course in an effort to determine if knowledge transfer occurred in the discussion forums. Student and faculty responses in the discussion forum were analyzed using NVivo10. The authors conclude that there is evidence to support authentic knowledge transfer in the online discussion forums on a student-to-student basis but not from faculty to student. This paper discusses the results of the study and proposes a model to evaluate and authenticate discussion question prompts as knowledge transfer agents. The proposed model provides a mechanism which focuses on the enablers of trust/reputation, creativity/innovation, expression of existing knowledge, real world application, and knowledge stewardship in the discussion forums in an effort to promote knowledge transfer. This model may be beneficial to instructional designers, subject matter experts and faculty when designing and delivering online discussion assignments.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v3n2p106


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International Journal of Higher Education
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