Citation: Gillett , A & Weetman , C 2005 , ' Investigation of the perceived usefulness of a StudyNet group discussion facility by international students ' Journal for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching , vol 2 , no. 1 , pp. 36-43 .
Postgraduate international students at UK institutions of higher education often find difficulty dealing with seminar-type discussions. An attempt was made to help students with this by utilising the group discussion facility of StudyNet. However, as most of the students were from East Asia, where education is often considered as essentially a passive process rather than something they have to do for themselves, it was felt necessary to investigate this to see how seriously they took such an activity. A questionnaire was therefore given to the students and the results analysed. Despite some criticisms, the students were generally found to understand the purpose of the activity and think it beneficial. Thus, overall, when activities are clearly seen to be related to the learning outcomes and integrated into the course, they can be used with confidence with East Asian students.