Dynamic Collaboration, Discussion and Facilitation Practices

January 2010

Practitioner Document – ABSTRACT

This Practitioner Document is one of a series of documents produced by The Online Learning Consortium based upon key insights from our workshops. Participants of these workshops discuss and share tips and techniques that work for them, plus experiences and issues based on the topic of each workshop. As a member of OLC, you can benefit from this shared knowledge and learn from your colleagues who are faced with the same challenges for moving into online learning — effectively prepared.


  • Increase and provide quality engagement in an online academic environment
  • Discussion thread design: threading, pace, sequencing discussion prompts, using Socratic
  • dialog, modeling reflective exchange, and closing down an exchange
  • Help students communicate clearly without the aid of nonverbal communication cues
  • Create exemplary exchanges


  • Workshop Instructor Goals
  • Common Faculty Questions
  • Faculty Goals
  • Faculty Beliefs
  • Faculty Challenges
  • Faculty Tips


Bill Pelz is Professor of Psychology at Herkimer County Community College. He joined the faculty of HCCC in August of 1968. During his 37 years of service to HCCC he has served as Chair of the Humanities and Social Science Division, Director of Distance Learning, and Coordinator of the HCCC Internet Academy. In 1994 he was presented with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2003 he won the Online Learning Consortium Award for Excellence in Online Teaching – both of which are most cherished prizes. Over the years Bill has published an assortment of scholarly and academic articles, most recently focused on the area of student and faculty satisfaction with asynchronous teaching and learning. His current research interest is in isolating the pedagogical factors which influence student achievement in virtual learning environments.

Dr. John Thompson is an Associate Professor at Buffalo State College in the Educational Technology graduate program — http://www.buffalostate.edu/depts/edcomputing.

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Member only – PDF document:
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