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Discussion Board Facilitation

Discussion Board Etiquette The Discussion Board is a vital part of communication in online learning. If all participants agree to follow a few principles of civility and professionalism, the discussion board can be a great opportunity to express opinions, share ideas, and receive feedback from peers who are engaged in the same learning objectives. As you prepare your initial posting, please refer to the rubric in your course for the expectations for depth and breadth of discussion. Brevity is appreciated. Since reading other's comments or articles can be very time consuming, try to be straight to the point, although respect that this is an academic class. When writing a reply posting, delete all extraneous information except the specific phrase, sentence, or comment to which you are replying. Another way to help readers engage in your responses is to give a frame of reference in your post by quoting or summarizing the content to which you are responding. Cite your references. Academic Dishonesty Defined

iFacilitate This an open workshop where learners participate by choosing how to post all of their information. You can post directly to the Talk Story @ iFacilitate Wall, post to the weekly discussions, or post to Twitter or Facebook. However a common method for communicating is with a personal blog. Don't worry if you feel a bit disorientated at first. Your active participation in this workshop will help you to acquire the skills needed to function in this type of course. The learning in the workshop results from the activities you choose to undertake, and will be different for each person. This type of workshop is called a ‘connectivist' workshop and is based on four major types of activity. 1. You will have access to a wide variety of things to read, watch or play with. You are NOT expected to read and watch everything. 2. Once you've read or watched or listened to some content, your next step is to keep track of that with your blog. 3. Remember that you are not starting from scratch. 4.

Student engagement in distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded discussion forums and text-focused Wikis | Gao The purpose of this study was to improve the quality of students’ online discussion of assigned readings in an online course. To improve the focus, depth, and connectedness of online discussion, the first author designed a text–focused Wiki that simultaneously displayed the assigned reading and students’ comments side by side in adjacent columns. In the text–focused Wiki, students were able to read the assigned text in the left column and type their comments or questions in the right column adjacent to the sentence or passage that sparked their interest. In post–participation surveys, data were gathered about students’ experiences in the text–focused Wiki and prior experiences in threaded discussion forums. Students reported more focus, depth, flow, idea generation, and enjoyment in the text–focused Wiki. Figure 2: The flow of the discussion.

Using Online Discussion Boards to Enhance Learning in Your Class | Course Support | UW School of Social Work screen­shot of sam­ple GoPost dis­cus­sion board If you are an instruc­tor want­ing to engage your stu­dents using an online dis­cus­sion board (GoPost if you’re using Cat­a­lyst Tools), you may have ques­tions about ben­e­fits and best practices. The ben­e­fits of using an online dis­cus­sion board for your class are numer­ous. Some key advan­tages include: Builds con­nec­tions and class com­mu­nity by pro­mot­ing dis­cus­sion on course top­ics and more infor­mal discussionCon­tributes to the devel­op­ment of cog­ni­tive, crit­i­cal think­ing, and writ­ing skillsAllows time for thought­ful, in-depth reflec­tion on course top­ics. Becom­ing informed about best prac­tices will help make you and your stu­dents’ expe­ri­ence with the dis­cus­sion board a reward­ing expe­ri­ence and one that con­tributes effec­tively to learn­ing. Estab­lish and com­mu­ni­cate dis­cus­sion board ground rules. Addi­tional Resources

Eight Tips for Facilitating Effective Online Discussion Forums July 23, 2009 By: Rebecca Owens in Asynchronous Learning and Trends At the heart of every online course is the discussion forum. This is where ideas, information, and new material are shared, discussed, analyzed, built upon, etc. In many ways, the discussion forum mimics the classroom in a face-to-face environment. “Discussion is one of the most effective ways to make students aware of the range of interpretations that are possible in an area of intellectual inquiry.” In the online learning environment, the discussion takes on a new level of importance for the physically dispersed learners to build a sense of community. The instructor is a facilitator in the discussion. Here are eight discussion forum strategies instructors should employ to enhance students’ online experience: Post the rules of netiquette and behavior expectations at the start of class. Rebecca Owens, Adjunct Faculty, University of Phoenix, DeVry University and Colorado Technical University. Recent Trackbacks [...]

Teaching with Technology Collaboratory - Improving the Use of Discussion Boards Considerable research indicates that the effective use of discussion boards results in... Collison, G., Elbaum, B., Haavind, S., & Tinker, R. (2000). Facilitating online learning: Effective strategies for moderators. Atwood Publishing: Madison, WI. Eklund, J., & Eklund, P. Integrating the web and the teaching of technology: Cases across two universities. (1996). Haggerty, N., Schneberger, S., & Carr, P. (2001). Hiltz, S.R. & Wellman, B. (1997). Kassop, M. (2003, May/June). Kubala, T. (1998). Markel, S. (2001). Mazzolini, M. & Maddison, S. (2003, April). Meyer, K.A. (2003). Newman, D.R., Webb, B., & Cochrane, C. (1999). Outing, S. & Rual, L. (2004). Rovai, A.P. (2004). Shapley, P. (2000). Sullivan, P. (2002, Winter).

Educational Blogging Blogs for education? You must be kidding… Blogs, or weblogs, have made their way into every corner of the Internet over the past decade. What once started out as something a very few people did actually know something about, has become very – very popular. Today, blogs are used by individuals, businesses, clubs, hobbyists and even educators. They are one of the easiest ways to put content up on the Internet for others to learn. One of the fastest growing trends with blogs today is to use them to help with education. Benefits of Blogging for Kids Parents and teachers can use blogs to help teach their kids many different life skills. Writing – Learning how to write is an important skill, and blogging can help kids of all ages learn this important skill. Educational Benefits of Blogging for Adults There are millions of adult students who are looking to learn new skills to better themselves. Here’s the latest email I got from a university student: Hey Robert,I’m Joel, from Germany. Your turn:

Course Schedule From WikiEducator This is the schedule for the course. On the whole, we will work on a weekly basis, however there will be some activities that span over a couple of weeks. July 18th Introduction We will spend this week orientating ourselves to the course, becoming familiar with the online technology and introducing ourselves to the rest of the course participants. Setting up your blog During the course you will be expected to keep a reflective blog for your personal learning and to meet the requirements of each assignment. Joining Wikieducator As part of the orientation to the course, we would like you to add your contact details including your blog address to the Course Wiki 'Participants' page. Here are some instructions on how to do this. NB: Facilitated and formal students will be strongly encouraged to take it in turns to facilitate the live meetings. July 25th Setting the scene Easy Internet Cafe in New York August 1st The 'who', 'what' and 'why' of online facilitation Why? What? Who?

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