Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Spain, Andrea.

Committee Member

Ryalls, Emily D.

Committee Member

Raymond, Richard

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of English


Although previous research has been conducted on the differences between online and face-toace discussions in the classroom setting, this previous body of research has not focused on the effect the inclusion of an online component of discussion can have on the creation of academic identity. Using qualitative and quantitative data, this research uses three student surveys and three instructor surveys and measures the use of first person pronouns and active and passive voice by students on online discussion boards in order to draw conclusions about the students’ and instructor’s perceptions about the impact online discussion boards have on the creation of academic identity. Similar to previous studies, quantitative data showed no significant difference; however, conclusions drawn from the qualitative data collected suggest that both the students and the instructor participating in the survey perceive that online discussion boards have a positive impact on the creation of academic identity.