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"In an online environment, human interaction does not just happen naturally. Your online students need a way to get to know you, the instructor, and others. There are several ways to encourage your students to interact with each other. The idea is to be creative and set several guidelines for students to follow in order to stimulate asynchronous discussions."
You’ll find here a bunch of techniques and suggestions. Save them for future use.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uggboy/5240738243/
Via Dennis T OConnor, Paula Silva, Les Howard
Students’ participation in online discussions is central in online learning courses as it contributes to a participative and meaningful instruction where learners build their knowledge in a constructive way with instructors, colleagues, informal sources and by reflecting upon the process.
Debbie Morrison is posting a triplet series on how to create effective discussions in an online learning environment. In part I she presents components which make online discussions effective, namely:
1. A solid course design
2. Guidelines and expectations for students
3. Well constructed topics/questions
4. The existence of a skilled facilitator or moderator
5. An assessment component
Wang Y. & Victor Der-Thang Chen (2008). Essential Elements in Designing Online Discussions to Promote Cognitive Presence, Journal of Asynchronous Communication. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 3-4 (12).
Wade, D. A., Bentley, J. P. H., & Waters, S. H. (2006). Twenty guidelines for successful threaded discussions: A learning environment approach. Distance Learning, 3(3), 1-8.
Via Paula Silva, Les Howard