The asynchronous discussion is one of the most commonly used learning tools in online courses and is even being used to supplement in person learning. However, faculty often struggle with creating question prompts that will facilitate high level conversations. Deciding when, how much, and how to contribute to discussions are other important considerations. Check out this brief literature review on this topic.
Providing students with clear expectations can help online discussions be productive.
This HOW TO MESSAGE BOARD document can be used for this purpose. Sharing this with students at the start of the semester can increase the likelihood of better conversations. It includes some great questions that faculty can ask students to move conversations forward and encourage deeper learning of the content.
Here is a SAMPLE RUBRIC for message board discussions.
CELT and Instructional Design and Media Services offered an on-line training for faculty interested in exploring on-line learning. Click here to learn more about the course.
We hope to offer this course again in the future and to also offer additional opportunities for faculty to learn about the on-line learning environment.
Articles on On-Line Learning: