Online Discussion Forums This presentation will cover the following: 1. Best Practices 2. Strategies 3. Management Tips
Online Discussion Why use an online discussion Forums forum? 1. Builds classroom Best Practices community. 2. Allows time for in-depthDiscussion forums are the mostcommonly used online tool in reflection.blended/hybrid and technology 3. Facilitates learning asenhanced courses. students reflect andTo create the most effective learning respond to each other.opportunities for students using this 4. Develops thinking andtool, there are some agreed upon best writing skills withpractices to follow. facilitation.References for the information in thispresentation will be found at the end ofthe presentation.
Online Discussion Forums Create a sense of community by setting Best Practices up an introduction forum. Here are some tips:1. Initially create a sense of community through an introduction forum. • This should occur in the first 2 weeks of your class.2. Forums should support course • Make sure your expectations are objectives. clear within the forum instructions. • Students should be directed to3. Encourage courteous discussion respond to their peers. through netiquette. • Set the example with your own introduction and, for this type of4. Encourage critical thinking. forum, respond to each student. • This is the type to gently reinforce5. Assess discussion forum activities. general forum expectations/netiquette.
Online Discussion Forums Best Practices Forums should support course objectives. This can be1. Initially create a sense of community accomplished through: through an introduction forum. • Having students demonstrating2. Forums should support course key concepts. objectives. • Having students synthesize3. Encourage courteous discussion learning experiences. through netiquette. • Having students work together to solve problems or come to4. Encourage critical thinking. an agreement on a situation. • Have students share projects5. Assess discussion forum activities. and peer assess projects.
Online Discussion Forums Best Practices Encourage courteous discussion through1. Initially create a sense of community netiquette. Here are some possible through an introduction forum. inclusions:2. Forums should support course • Follow standard rules of grammar objectives. and composition, not texting. • Think and re-read before you post.3. Encourage courteous discussion • Support your statements with facts. through netiquette. • Show respect for other’s opinions even if you don’t agree.4. Encourage critical thinking. • Stay on topic. • Offensive language will not be5. Assess discussion forum activities. tolerated.
Online Discussion Forums Best Practices Encourage critical thinking by using some of the following question types.1. Initially create a sense of community through an introduction forum. Exploratory: Probe facts/basic knowledge.2. Forums should support course objectives. Challenge: Question assumptions.3. Encourage courteous discussion Relational: Ask for comparison of through netiquette. themes.4. Encourage critical thinking. Cause & effect: Ask for causal relationships.5. Assess discussion forum activities. Summary: Expect a synthesis of study.
Online Discussion Forums Best Practices1. Initially create a sense of community through an introduction forum. Assess discussion forum activities. Assessment should match learning2. Forums should support course objectives and should be known objectives. prior to students participating in a forum. Here are some examples:3. Encourage courteous discussion through netiquette. • Discussion forum rubric • Checklist4. Encourage critical thinking. • Having student’s self-assess5. Assess discussion forum activities. • Having student’s peer-assess
Online Discussion Here are some possible discussion forum strategies: Forums Role play: Have students use role play to investigate an issue from another perspective. What’s in the news: Use local, national, and worldwide current events to promote discussion. Virtual Fieldtrips: Virtual fieldtrips provide opportunities for students to visit places you won’t be able to physically take Strategies them. This can promote robustNow that you have an idea as to some discussion and connection.of the most effective ways to use Online Video: Use video to level thediscussion forums in your course, here knowledge base of yourare some strategies for creating students before a discussiondiscussion forums. begins.
Online Discussion Discussion Forum Management Forums Tips: • Monitor the flow and tone of the discussion. • Facilitate deeper discussion. • Set a deadline for feedback and for assessment and stick to it. • Set aside a consistent day and time to dedicate to your forums. • If corrective action is needed, do it sooner rather than later. Management • Develop a consistent grading assessment students can useIt is imperative you manage a regularly.discussion forum in a consistent and • Celebrate thoughtful student poststimely manner for it to be an effective and responses.learning tool.
Online Discussion References Forums Discussion Board Netiquette: http://research.udmercy.edu/help/kno wledge/page.php?id=11 Online Discussions for Blended Learning: http://www.csus.edu/webct/faculty/dis cussion-board-best-practices.pdf Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation: http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edut opia-onlinelearning-mastering-online- discussion-board-facilitation.pdf Forum Best Practices: Presentation compiled by http://www.visioncritical.com/sites/defa Leslie Lott ult/files/pdf/2012_02_VC_Discussions_ WhitePaper_Forums.pdf