Best Practices for Designing and Assessing Online Discussion Questions

Online discussion can provide students with the opportunity to express ideas, think about course content, apply course concepts to real-world situations, interact with classmates and faculty, and reflect on attitudes or values. However, it can be challenging to create discussion questions that engage students in critical thinking and encourage robust interaction. It is additionally challenging to assess different aspects of online discussion and provide students with meaningful qualitative and quantitative feedback. This webinar will provide strategies and tips for meeting these challenges.

Discussion forums are a common component of online classes. However, there are several aspects of online discussion that can be challenging for both faculty and students. Faculty members can find it challenging to create discussion questions that encourage meaningful student interaction. Likewise, it can also be difficult to create discussion questions that help students critically analyze course content. Finally, many faculty members wrestle with assessing students’ discussion work. Online discussion can also be troublesome for students. Student participation in online discussion can be hindered by unclear questions and uncertainty regarding faculty members’ expectations. The challenges can be addressed through thoughtful design, supportive communication, and sound assessment strategies.

This presentation will provide strategies for (1) designing discussion questions that encourage students to critically evaluate course materials and topics; (2) fostering an environment that supports active and meaningful discussion among class members; (3) communicating clear expectations to students regarding online discussion; and (4) creating rubrics to assess discussion participation and provided detailed feedback to the students.

This webinar will be recorded and archived in Sloan-C Webinar Recordings and may be made available for viewing and listening by members and non-members of the Sloan Consortium community. By filling out the registration information and joining the webinar you authorize and consent to Sloan-C recording your participation in this webinar.

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