Envisioning the Future of Online Math Discussions

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Virtual learning has and will continue to be in demand given the current world health climate. Join us for a strategy-rich, mini-workshop sharing successful approaches to online math discussion forums that include authentic real-world situations, teamwork and plagiarism-reduced, quality content-specific conversations. 


Kirsten K. Meymaris is a faculty member at Purdue University Global, Mathematics Department, with over 18 years of experience in online education. Kirsten has experience in a diversity of roles in online education including developing course content; managing and maintaining online course software; and direct facilitation of online courses. She joined the PG team as an adjunct faculty member in 2009 and became full time in 2014, having taught almost every class offered in the math department. Kirsten has degrees in both mathematics and computer science with an emphasis in educational technology.

Extended Abstract

Virtual learning has and will continue to be in demand given the current world health climate. Online discussions are a ubiquitous design feature in online education and as such deserve regular attention to ensure the most effective and optimal implementation and facilitation for student success. Much research has been devoted to online discussion boards including the need for teamwork and collaboration in the virtual setting. However, group-based projects are far from the norm in online courses (Morgan et al, 2014). Current trends show an advancement in how discussion boards are implemented and management to support a clear purpose, a solid content-specific structure, effective discussion prompts and facilitation for engagement (Aloni et al, 2018).

This mini-workshop will synthesize the research into practical ideas and strategies specifically related to online mathematics education, but transferable to any subject matter. Effective approaches to online discussion boards supporting authentic real-world math situations, teamwork and plagiarism-reduced, quality subject-specific conversations will be shared.

Participants will leave with:

  1. Successful strategies for creating scenarios to engage students and increase participation in online discussions.
  2. An established process for producing quality posts from students.
  3. Methods used for teamwork and collaboration within the online discussion boards.
  4. Techniques for creating plagiarism-reduced discussion questions.

Aloni, M., Harrington, C. (2018). Research Based Practices for Improving the Effectiveness of Asynchronous Online Discussion Boards. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology. Vol. 4, No. 4, 271–289.

Morgan, K., Williams, K.C., Cameron, B.A., Wade, C.E.  (2014). Faculty Perceptions of Online Group Work.  The Quarterly Review of Distance Education. Vol 15(4), pp. 37-41.