" Nearly EVERY course in my program began their posting with "“Identify one important concept, research finding, theory, or idea … that you learned while completing this activity. Then read the posts of your fellow students and comment..." These "Read, Write, Reflect" prompts are good, but they get old fast. Below are some resources that may help improve and add variety to your online discussions. Communication Expectations. Should You Let Students Lead Discussion Boards? - Faculty Focus. Several years ago, a colleague suggested that having students lead discussions in the online classroom would be a good idea.
I agreed and searched the literature for research on this topic but found nothing. No one at that point had been looking at having students moderate, or they hadn’t written about it. I still thought it was a good idea and decided to pursue this line of research by having my students moderate and follow up with an end-of-course student questionnaire. Based on my research and experience of having students moderate, I developed the following approach. I started by developing the following criteria describing how a moderator—whether instructor or student—should behave in an online course based on the literature and what I do in my online courses: Focus the discussion on course content and encourage new ideas. To help prepare students to moderate discussions, I explain why they are being asked to do this. Students work in pairs when they moderate discussions. Online Discussions. Tips for Overcoming Online Discussion Board Challenges.
Discussion boards are often viewed as the heart of online courses, and for good reason: the students can interact with one another 24/7, sharing, debating, and offering ideas, insights, suggestions, and information that stimulate the learning process.
Yet challenges do happen in discussion, and these can be formidable. Left alone, they can quickly limit the effectiveness of any discussion and create problems throughout the online course. If you are having problems in your discussion, there’s a good chance one or more of the following suggestions will help: Conflict in the discussion: It would be wonderful if the discussion went as planned with each student jumping in with substantive and polite comments, but that is not the real world of the online course. Personal attacks and bullying: These can be an escalation of conflict, the result of students’ beliefs (religious, philosophical, etc.), or a personality trait.
Solution: Post examples of substantive posts. Discussionboard. Are You Bored with Discussion Boards? Collaborative Strategies in Blended and Online Courses. Edutopia onlinelearning mastering online discussion board facilitation. DiscussionBoardWorksheet. ABC cs2. Establishing tone. Down and dirty guidelines for effective discussions in online courses. Tailoring Discussion Boards. Assessment and Rubrics. A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative learning, research process/ report, PowerPoint, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other social media projects.
Quick Links to Rubrics Social Media Project Rubrics Wiki RubricCriteria for assessing individual and group Wiki contributions. Blog RubricAssess individual blog entries, including comments on peers' blogs. Twitter RubricAssess learning during social networking instructional assignments. Discussion, Teamwork, and Cooperative Learning Rubrics Online Discussion Board RubricAssessing ability to share perspectives, refine thoughts through the writing process, and participate in meaningful discussionPrimary Grade Self-Evaluation Teamwork Rubric (PDF)Features of a sandwich to graphically show the criteria Upper Elementary Teamwork RubricKaren Franker's rubric includes six defined criteria for assessing team and individual responsibility. Using Rubrics to Grade Online Discussions - ELC Support.
A rubric is a scoring scale used to evaluate a student's work.
Rubrics spell out to students exactly what is expected of them, and they list the criteria instructors use to assess students' work. Rubrics also help instructors by providing guidelines for more objective grading. The Value of Rubrics. Discussion Rubrics - Pedagogical Repository. Description While faculty might hope that students can "just discuss" a topic online with little or no support, Beckett, Amaro‐Jiménez, and Beckett (2010) found that "even doctoral students may need explicit grading instructions, and therefore provide rubrics and sample responses while not stifling creativity" (p. 331).
Rubrics provide clear expectations for students regarding how an assignment, that can otherwise be subjective, will be graded. In addition to providing learner support, they can be especially helpful to instructors since they clearly state the goals for the assignment and facilitate a systematic way to assign grades. Some faculty members also employ the assistance of a teaching assistant and with multiple graders, the potential for inconsistent grading becomes high. Rubrics can help minimize that potential risk. Baker (2011) notes that it is helpful for the instructor to be very clear in their rubric, using both quantitative and qualitative elements.
Baker, D.L. (2011). Online Discussion Boards & Rubrics – Center for Online Learning, Research and Service - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS. Discussions Discussion is at the heart of asynchronous online learning.
Critical thinking skills for students can be developed. The expanded time frame offered by asynchronous learning gives ample time for reflection. Writing skills can be honed. So how do we create effective discussions in online courses?