Fostering student engagement & motivated participation in discussion forums: Examples from Columbia University
Concurrent Session 3
For new and experienced online instructors, or those who work with them, this session will share examples of high-participation discussion forum assignments from Columbia University, different ways to set up and facilitate discussion forums, sample grading rubrics for discussion forums, and strategies to plan for issues that may come up.
Discussion forums are a key component of most online and blended courses, and are often included as homework for face-to-face courses as well. In this session, the presenters will share examples of discussion forum assignments that have yielded high student participation, as well as different ways to set up and facilitate discussion forums, including student-led and small-group discussion forums. The presenters will also share sample grading rubrics for discussion forums, and strategies to plan ahead for issues that may come up. The examples and strategies will come from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, which offers a fully online Master’s of Science in Social Work program.
This interactive session will begin with polls to learn why participants have chosen to attend; the presenters will use the poll results to tailor the use of time for the different sections of the presentation. In addition, throughout the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to share their own strategies, ask questions, and add to their toolkits of strategies for online discussion forums. Strategies discussed will appeal to a range of budgets and classroom staffing, so as to be applicable and sustainable at any school.
Examples of discussion forums will include text-based and media-based discussions, as well as instructor-led and student-led discussions, and will cover many different course topics. Multiple student and instructor perspectives will be included as well.
The goals for this session:
By the end of this session, participants should be able to:
Describe example high-participation discussion forum assignments from Columbia University School of Social Work
Discuss different ways to set up, facilitate, and grade discussion forums
Share their strategies and add to their toolkits for setting up and facilitating discussion forums online
Plan for potential issues and share their strategies for addressing challenges