Supporting technology instruction through peer tutoring, discussion boards and electronic journals


instructors, tutors, discussion boards, peer tutoring


Given the diverse backgrounds and technical expertise that language teachers can possess, it is challenging for technology instructors to meet the needs of individuals during workshops or classes. In this study, we explored the effectiveness of three interventions imple- mented to help a technology instructor better meet the needs of individuals in his class: peer tutoring, asynchronous discussion board and electronic journal entries. Through the three interventions, the instructor's role changed from being the provider of solutions to every problem (firefighter) to being an available coach, able to focus his attention on matters that required it most. The instructor became well informed of individuals' challenges and frustrations through discussion board postings and journal entries. Learners regularly answered each others' questions and provided support and advice as they acted as peer tutors and as they exchange messages via the discussion board. A strong group dynamic developed as learners grew accustomed to assisting each other regularly. The instructor was able to adjust lessons according to needs perceived via journals and discussion board entries. He was also able to focus more attention on problems in class that required instructor attention (as opposed to questions readily answerable by peers).

Original Publication Citation

Dewey, D. P., & Cannon, A. E. (2007). Supporting technology instruction through peer tutoring, discussion boards and electronic journals. IALLT (International Association for Language Learning Technology) Journal, 39(1), 17-33.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date










University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor