Critical Discourse Analysis of Moderated Discussion Board of Virtual University of Pakistan

Ayesha Perveen


The paper critically evaluated the discursive practices on the Moderated Discussion Board (MDB) of Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP). The paramount objective of the study was to conduct a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the MDB on the Learning Management System (LMS) of VUP. For this purpose, the academic power relations of the students and instructors were evaluated by analyzing whose discourse was dominant in communication with each other on MDB. The researcher devised a model based on the blended theoretical framework of Norman Fairclough and Teun van Dijk to critically analyze the linguistics, ideological, semiotic and socio cognitive-cultural undercurrents in the production and reception processes of MDB discourse. The primary data of the MDB of English Comprehension (ENG101) course was randomly selected to be qualitatively analyzed for this research study. The findings demonstrated that the learners were at a disadvantage because of their lack of command of the English language. However, quick and pertinent replies from instructors revealed students’ empowerment in an educational discursive practice. The results indicated a balance of power relations amongst instructors, students and the University. However, the need to improve the critical thinking of the students to further empower them was strongly felt.


Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA); Virtual Classroom; Moderated Discussion Board (MDB); Learning Management System (LMS); E-learning

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