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Reading, Writing and Collaborating Through Discussion Boards


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Using discussion boards to encourage writing, critical thinking and building a learning community

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Reading, Writing and Collaborating Through Discussion Boards

  1. 1. Reading, Writing and Collaborating Through Discussion Boards Ida M. Jones Professor of Business Law Director, Center for the Scholarly Advancement of Learning and Teaching California State University, Fresno
  2. 2. Outcomes Today• Overview of discussion boards in the context of teaching, learning & creating a learning community• Examine two uses of discussion boards• Review structures to create effective discussion board assignments
  3. 3. Have you taught a fully online course?Vote Yes or No
  4. 4. Have you used online discussion boards?Vote Yes or No
  5. 5. How would you describe your success at using discussion boards?VoteA. I had great success!B. It worked but I don’t think any learning actually occurredC. Discussion Board? I don’t even know what it is!
  6. 6. Effective Teaching• Lectures – Manage learning – Control • amount of info • How learners get the info – Present to large numbers of learners• Socratic method: questions and answers under fire; probing to encourage learning
  7. 7. Lecture-physical presence Orally delivered contentStudents listening, discussing inpersonStudents watching, taking notes, followinginstructor modeling the analysis
  8. 8. Learning Theoryinfo info Objectivism vs. Constructivism Surface learning vs. Deep learning
  9. 9. Questions so far before we get to two ways I’ve used discussion boards?
  10. 10. One use of Discussion Boards: Collaborative Quizzes • Collaborate to develop answers – Basic questions – Some case discussions • Randomly assigned groups of 5-7 • Each week, – Discuss answers to quiz questions – Prepare a group answer to each question. • The individual quiz -3 randomly selected questions • Grades based on results of – Writing original answers – Commenting/adding to other answers – Developing group answers – Taking quiz; submitting group answer as response
  11. 11. Overall, the group quizzes were an effective way to learn the material. Strongly Disagree 4% Strongly Agree Agree 22% Agree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree 48% Strongly Agree Strongly DisagreeNeither Agreenor Disagree Disagree 22% 4%
  12. 12. Overall, the members of my group were helpful inidentifying areas of agreement and disagreement on course topics that helped me to learn. Agree. 33% Strongly Agree DisagreeAgree. 46% Neither Agree nor Disagree Strongly Agree Disagree. 8% Neither Agree nor Disagree. 13%
  13. 13. Another Use of Discussion Boards:Writing, Research and Critical Thinking Alternative to the Research PaperWebsite: Alternative to the Research Paper
  14. 14. Tie assignment to expected outcome• Testing knowledge and understanding of concepts• Discussing and solving a problem, case or factual scenario• Encouraging discussion, reflection and analysis of concepts and developing new insights into those concepts• Applying concepts learned in the text to other readings to reinforce understanding of the concepts• Developing a research project• Completing a lab exercise
  15. 15. What a Tech Start-Up’s Data Say About What Works in Classroom Forums• Article in Chronicle of Higher Ed in-classroom-forums/38960?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en – Formal, structured grading-less value than the informal structure – Anonymous comments/questions worked better at more selective institutions, e.g. MIT – Requiring that students introduce themselves resulted in more robust discussions
  16. 16. Have you learned anything you would use now?
  17. 17. Additional Questions or Comments?