How to get students to participate in Online Discussions… | Technology Enhanced Learning & ePortfolio |

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