Revamping Online Discussions: Prompting Students in Three Directions

Credit: iStock.com/opico
Credit: iStock.com/opico
The textbook in the online educator preparation course I was redesigning would not have been my first choice. It was dry, theory heavy, and difficult to read. I wanted to supplement it with an engaging discussion activity—a student-directed one—that would motivate students to read it and think critically about how it applied to them professionally. In particular, I wanted students to choose how they responded to the text and which part of it they responded to. Additionally, I wanted to make sure that students met the core module learning objective in a way that was relevant to them. Finally, I wanted students to engage with one another. While traditional discussion forums combine all these goals into a single discussion, I thought it best to separate them into different discussions to ensure that each goal was met.

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