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Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
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Edutopia Resource Guide: Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation

Discussion boards, or threaded discussions, are one of the most commonly used tools in online teaching. Discussion  forums provide the ability for asynchronous discussion to occur over a period of time. The ability to learn asynchronously is one of the primary benefits of online learning. Students are able to reflect upon their ideas before sharing them with the class, leading to more reflective responses and in-depth learning.


This guide has been designed to provide some practical suggestions to assist you in making the most of this versatile tool. A number of topics have been addressed, including: facilitation tips, content area suggestions, time management strategies and much more.


Via Dennis T OConnor, Jim Lerman
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JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching :Designing and Orchestrating Online Discussions

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching :Designing and Orchestrating Online Discussions | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Designing and Orchestrating Online Discussions

 

David L. Baker
Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration
California State University, San Bernardino
San Bernardino, CA 92407 USA
dbaker@csusb.edu

 

Abstract

 

This author’s position is that asynchronous online discussions face an array of resolvable pedagogical and course management challenges. Online discussions can transform mere course chatter into a cyber forum of student-centered learning through meticulous planning, designing and orchestrating. After introducing common issues, a literature review summarizes the contributions that online discussions bring to distance learning. The author then addresses pedagogical and managerial issues that plague online discussions with strategies that instructors may readily employ. In the pedagogical realm, these include insights on organizing online discussions, using groups to facilitate interactions, establishing discussion parameters, and ensuring that the course syllabus introduces online discussion details. In the managerial realm, approaches are offered regarding overseeing discussion windows, using icebreakers, assessing student performance, ongoing communications, maintaining an online presence, netiquette, and a variety of other online discussion tips. In support of online instructors, the article weaves in relevant literature with the hard learned lessons from the author’s ongoing attempts to improve online discussions. It concludes by urging instructors to cultivate improvement continuously through candid self-critique supplemented by student feedback.

 

Keywords: Asynchronous learning; distance learning, online pedagogy, online groups; online discussions; and discussion assessment.

Via Dennis T OConnor
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