Purdue University Graduate School

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Developing Instructor Facilitation Skills for Online Case-Based Discussions

posted on 2023-08-08, 17:27 authored by Yishi LongYishi Long

This dissertation consists of three interrelated articles about supporting instructors to develop their facilitation skills both on the instructional and emotional sides during online case-based discussions. In the first study, we examined the influence of instructors with varying levels of experience on student participation and interaction in online case discussions. Findings showed that while both expert and novice instructors utilized facilitation strategies in clusters to facilitate discussions, the novice instructor displayed less flexibility as a facilitator, and these differences impacted student activeness. Our second study explored experts’ teaching practices, such as structuring, facilitating, and assessing online case discussions, and the reasons behind their decisions. We found that the experts clustered strategies during online case discussions while maintaining differences in how they implemented them. There was practical guidance provided for novice instructors that could be adapted to meet their own needs. Using a learning experience design lens, the last paper conceptually discussed opportunities for facilitating students’ emotions during online case discussions and offered suggestions that instructors can incorporate into the planning, implementation, and evaluation phases.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Adrie A. Koehler-Blair

Additional Committee Member 2

Jennifer C. Richardson

Additional Committee Member 3

Sunnie L. Watson

Additional Committee Member 4

Andrew A. Tawfik