It becomes clear much research has been done on using a discussion board in an online learning community. But my situation is a bit different. I’m offering learner paced study, in which students can decide when they start their course in contrast to other educational institutions.
Paulsen (2013) advocates:
Meaningful group communication is perhaps the greatest pedagogical challenge in unpaced learning
As dr Anderson told me, I’m moving into a very unresearched world of unpaced or continuous enrolment education. So my research question has to be revised. Instead of researching the implementation of a discussion board and holding to (social) constructivism, I must do research whether social constructivism is the best option. A constructivist school of learning might be more convenient in my specific situation. Building a network instead of a group.
So much reading during the last 6 weeks. At least 6 hours a day, no exceptions. A fast calculation brings it to 250 hours. Time to finalize my research questions and proceed to my methodology. A bit of gardening and running gives me the opportunity to clear my head.