Discussions: Why do I use them again?
Concurrent Session 7
You know that someone told you using online discussions was good, but why was that again? Is there a better way to do online discussions? This session looks at research on discussions, ideas for improving discussions, and time to share what you are doing for online discussions.
Online discussions are the primary method to provide student to student interaction in an online course, but many faculty do not see the value in them. Research has shown that student to student interaction is important, but if faculty are not seeing the value in them there has to be a disconnect. Other faculty have fallen into a rhythm of 1 post and 2 replies. Is this the best method for delivering an online discussion? This session will go through both research and practice and bridge the gap between the two. The goal of this session is provide practical ways to get better discussion from your students, and also offering a place for faculty to share their success with discussions as well.
Over the past couple of years, we have collected information from multiple instructional designers and faculty on how they set up their discussions that got the best results. These ideas will be shared with all of the participants. This session will include a short presentation with time for the audience to collaborate, and time to share the best discussion ideas back to the room.
The presenters represent several perspectives from instructor, instructional designer, student, and Quality Matters coordinator. All of these perspectives provide a holistic approach to creating discussions and has an added dimension of how discussions can add to the integrity of the course design.
Discussions can be a great tool to enhance learning, provide an opportunity for students to interact with each and share knowledge, create dynamic conversations, and give a chance to pursue topics that are related but aren’t covered in the course aka rabbit holes. With a little intentionality all courses can have better discussions that are a more positive experience for the instructor and the students. This session with give ideas, that have been tested, to improve discussions.