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Teachers have a major responsibility to engage students online for successful learning in online distance education programs. Identifying key aspects of the teachers' role is important. The study reported in this paper investigated an online course for paramedic students. Data were collected from the teachers and students and their online interactions were observed. The study has shown that students' message posting is likely to be related to the cognitive demand and accessibility of discussion tasks that staff design and the quality of teacher facilitation of discussion.
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