Course design is the foundation for all education. It is important to weave content with motivation, as well as find ways to engage students and encourage critical thinking.
Improving Student Participation in Online Discussions
Posted on January 28, 2014 by Sarah Bleakney
Online discussions are an important component of any course, whether it is online, on-ground, or somewhere in between. They provide a venue for student-student and student-instructor interactions, potentially enriching course communications and increasing course engagement. However, many instructors can find effectively incorporating discussions a challenge.
A recent article on Faculty Focus suggests ways you can improve your students’ participation with discussions. The author suggests that setting and communicating clear expectations for student participation helps empower students to more fully and consistently contribute. Instructors might also want to consider creating a high level of structure for discussion prompts as that is connected to higher levels and quality of participation.
Perhaps you have tried online discussions and get plenty of participation, but face issues such as conflict and tangential or unsubstantial contributions? Another Faculty Focus article provides a variety of solutions worth considering for scenarios you may have or might face. Another great resource—especially for the visually-oriented—is an infographic, Why aren’t your students participating on the Discussion Board? Its flowchart format guides instructors through troubleshooting their approach to online discussions.
Faculty Focus – Special Report on the 10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching
Posted on October 30, 2012 by Tawnya Means
Teaching online for the first time is a little like trying to drive a car in a foreign country. You know how to drive, just like you know how to teach, but it sure is hard to get the hang of driving on the left side of the road...you’re not quite sure how far a kilometer is...and darn it if those road signs aren’t all in Japanese.
If you’d like to better understand the “rules of the road” for online teaching and learning, 10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education is the perfect guidebook.
Download the Faculty Focus report.