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Structuring online discussions

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  • This has been created for health professionals who are using online technologies to teach others. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, as identified in this slide.

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  • 1. Structuring Online Discussions
    Janet Lenart, RN, MN, MPH
    BNHS, School of Nursing
    University of Washington, Seattle
    jlenart@uw.edu
  • 2. Structuring Online Discussions
    Created for health professionals who are using online technologies to teach others.
    By Janet Lenart, RN, MN, MPH
    Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing
    University of Washington, Seattle WA 98136
    jlenart@uw.edu
    May 26, 2010
    This project is supported in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant Faculty Development: Integrated Technology into Nursing Education & Practice Initiative
    Grant number U1KHP09543
  • 3. Structure versus moderation of online discussions
    Structure: a variety of elements that are organized into a cohesive whole to support the interaction; the nuts and bolts.
    Moderation: facilitation of interaction that encourages dialogue and creates a learning community; the heart and soul.
  • 4. DiscussionStructure Moderation
  • 5. Structuring Online Discussions
  • 6. Who
    Your decision
    Recommendations
    Number of students in a discussion?
    Group students randomly or using criteria?
    10 to 12 students maximum
    Your course objectives and student characteristics will guide you in deciding how to group students.
  • 7. What
    Recommendations
    Your decision
    Will you require participation in the discussion?
    What percent of the course grade is appropriate?
    What grading criteria will you use?
    Requiring participation is essential to creating dialogue and a learning community.
    One study demonstrated that 20% resulted in more frequent and meaningful participation than 10%. No additional benefit at 30%.
    See the next slide for a grading rubric example
  • 8. A grading rubric
    (Rovai, 2004)
  • 9. When
    Your decision
    Recommendations
    Frequency and number of postings to be required?
    Deadlines necessary for postings in order to create a conversation?
    Specify the minimum number of postings and the maximum number of words (e.g. 200 to 300 words). Encourage additional posting but grade based on quality not quantity.
    Give deadlines so a dialogue will be created (e.g. post by Wednesday and respond to peers by Friday).
  • 10. Where
    Recommendations
    Your decision
    Where in the course will the discussion exist? E.g., a separate discussion each week throughout the course, or only in specific weeks?
    Your course objectives, credits and content will guide you in deciding whether to create a new discussion every week or less often. To create a learning community and facilitate peer-to-peer learning, a discussion for the whole duration of the course is advised.
  • 11. References
    A grading Rubric is found in Rovai, A. P. (2004). A constructivist approach to online college learning. Internet and Higher Education, 7, 79–93.