This research examined student perceptions of asynchronous discussion boards using the focused group methodology using an applied research approach. The research purpose was to explore what online students perceive to be worthwhile discussion board content and interactions in online college courses. Ultimately, the goal was to add to the growing body of literature that fosters a deeper understanding of how to improve both teaching strategy and instructional design and increase both the quality and quantity of student participation. The researchers recruited volunteers from closed undergraduate courses to participate in the survey. Emerging themes included concerns over busy work, excessive time requirements, overly structured discussion boards, and the importance of quality, relevance, professor involvement, and respect. To improve participation, teaching strategy, and instructional design for online courses, each of these themes should be addressed as part of the discussion board design and in the online classroom.