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Do online learning forums improve students' writing skills?
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A well-structured online discussion forum can provide students with extensive practice in writing. The online forum allows opportunities for the facilitation of curricular objectives via modern technology. Online discussion forums provide an authenticity in writing and therefore serve as a meaningful supplement to the writing curriculum (Pauley 2001).

Aileen $\mathrm{Ng}(2008)$ in her study discovered that the implementation of the online forum appears to provide reinforcement tasks to enable students to practice their writing. Besides that, the online forum also facilitates collaborative learning. Students could share their ideas and opinions in order to produce better quality writing as compared to if the tasks were to be completed independently.

Schuetze (2010) conducted a research in the University of Victoria Canada and the University of Kiel in Germany. The study showed that most students of both universities felt comfortable writing online and they wrote more than ever before. They used the forum more actively than in a face-to-face classroom or chat. In turn, some students also mentioned that they liked to read what other students posted in online forums.

In a study among twenty-five Chinese and Kiwi learners, Gerbric (2005) encountered that online forums provide opportunities specifically for particular groups of students. Chinese students found the virtual and text-based nature of the medium allowed them to enter discussions more easily and they felt more comfortable with their written responses compared to face-to-face discussions.
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