DISCUSSION BOARDS Omar San Luis Ana Laura Cortina Jesùs Millàn
WHAT IS A DISCUSSION BOARD A discussion board is an asynchronous communication tool that allows one individual to post a comment or question online. Other individuals who are members of the same discussion board may read that comment/question, and respond with their own remarks over time.
DISCUSSION BOARD TERMINOLOGY If one individual posts a question, and three others post answers to that question, these four "posts" comprise what is known as a "thread" of conversation. The phrase, "threaded discussion board" is common, referring to threads of conversation, each focused on a particular topic.
Discussion boards should not be confused with live chats, however. Live chats provide for synchronous communication (all at the same time), whereas discussion boards provide for asynchronous communication (discussion over time).
WHY SHOULD I USE A DISCUSSION BOARD Online discussions are not unlike those conducted within the traditional, face-to-face classroom, and are often seen as more useful for the distance instructor who does not meet students face-to-face. Even the on-campus instructor may find discussion boards useful
<ul><li>A few advantages to using discussion boards include: </li></ul><ul><li>extending the time allotted for discussions beyond regular class time to allow for in-depth reflection on comments </li></ul><ul><li>requiring students to move beyond listening to a lecture, stating their thoughts, engaging in well-articulated argumentation and critical reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>allowing each student to participate and join-in the conversation, rather than one or two outgoing communicators in the classroom </li></ul>
<ul><li>providing an outlet for students to pose their questions and receive feedback from not only the instructor, but also other discussion board participants </li></ul><ul><li>allowing students to reference and bring external sources of information into the conversation (e.g., "according to this web site...") </li></ul><ul><li>storing a record or archive of conversations for use by future classes, researchers, others </li></ul><ul><li>allowing discussions to include perspectives from individuals outside of the original class </li></ul>
WHAT LEARNING ACTIVITIES DO DISCUSSION BOARDS SUPPORT <ul><li>Directed Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Debates </li></ul><ul><li>Critiques </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul>