facilitating effective online discussions

Exploring the Dimensions of Online Discussion

Why is online discussion worth discussing? For starters, many conversations about this unique form of interaction have centered on its merits. Is it better or worse than face-to-face discussion? As interesting as those conversations have been, what merits analysis now are the implications of those

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What Is the Purpose of Online Discussion?

Nearly all online faculty use discussion in their courses, often simply because everyone else does or their institution’s course development model assumes they do. But like any course content or activity, we need to ask about its purpose. There is no law that all online

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Chat as an Alternative to Videoconferencing and Discussion Forums

Faculty who move from face-to-face teaching to online teaching must decide how to facilitate student interaction in a web environment. Nearly all use the asynchronous threaded discussion forum that is a central feature of all learning management systems (LMSs). Some also use synchronous video conferencing,

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Solutions to Online Discussion Problems

Student discussions have long been both thorn and rose of online courses. When online learning was first introduced to academia, skeptical face-to-face instructors believed that the courses must lack any discussion, likening them to a television broadcast. But online educators immediately recognized that the format

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Student-Centered Social Interaction Online

In my years as an instructional designer at Indiana University, I’ve heard the same complaint again and again across wholly disparate courses and programs: “I would like more and better student interaction in my online courses.” These teachers have used traditional online discussion boards and

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Many blank, pale blue speech bubbles forming a cloud

Online Discussions: Would Changing the Environment Help?

Online discussions aren’t a new thing anymore; they regularly occur in online courses and courses with online components. What we’ve learned for sure: they’re a mixed bag. On the plus side, they make participation safer. Students can make a post, walk away, and not worry

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