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Achieving online dialogic learning using breakout rooms.

Douglas, Shonagh



Breakout rooms are an increasingly used tool in online teaching. This study uses Laurillard's (2013) Conversational Framework to evaluate the effectiveness of breakout rooms in achieving learning through peer-to-peer dialogue in large-scale teaching. Data were collected through online surveys, comprising Likert ratings and open questions. Surveys were issued to undergraduate students (n = 115) and tutors (n = 9) at Aberdeen Business School (Robert Gordon University), asking them to reflect on Year 1 studies in the 2020–2021 academic year. Key findings indicate that breakout rooms can be successful in achieving effective learning through peer-to-peer dialogue. However, this is highly dependent on student participation, which was variable. In order to facilitate effective breakout rooms, tutors need to ensure they set a clear task - with evidence suggesting a perception gap between tutors and students on how effectively this was done - and regularly visit breakout rooms to encourage participation and provide support.


DOUGLAS, S. 2023. Achieving online dialogic learning using breakout rooms. Research in learning technology [online], 31, article number 2882. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2023
Publication Date Dec 31, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2023
Journal Research in learning technology
Print ISSN 2156-7069
Electronic ISSN 2156-7077
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Article Number 2882
Keywords Virtual meetings; Virtual seminars; Break-out rooms; Undergraduate students; Online learning; Higher education; Dialogic learning; Conversational framework; Online; Learning
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