Mentoring University Faculty to Design, Develop, and Facilitate Asynchronous Online Discussions


  • Larisa Olesova Learning Support Services
  • Susan Campbell Learning Support Services



technology-enriched, scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)


This research-based presentation will demonstrate and discuss the findings on how using the Cooperative Mentorship Model at George Mason University impacted the quality of designing, developing, and facilitating asynchronous online discussions in online courses. The Cooperative Mentorship Model is a model where instructional designers mentor university faculty to develop online courses and programs of greater quality. The Model consists of four phases, including planning, production, teaching, and assessment of an online course. Presenters will explain the research and practice driving the mentorship process. Instructional Designers use current research findings to help faculty design, facilitate, and assess effective online discussions. Online discussion design included peer review, debates, role play, and case-based and problem-based discussions. During the presentation, they will also share their own research findings about faculty-perceived effectiveness of designing and using asynchronous online discussions compared with their previous teaching experiences. Findings from Blackboard course reports and course evaluations will also be reviewed. Fields included in this study were public policy, communication, urban studies, government, religion, film studies, nutrition, assistive technology, conflict resolution, and others.