This video highlights the concept that discussions are an important component of many forms of online student interaction. For students to benefit from an online discussion, it is important for teachers to generate relevant topics, effectively moderate student activity and participate regularly. This episode will highlight several strategies to help you manage online discussions more effectively, and make them more beneficial for your students.
Type of Material:
Workshop and Training Material
All levels: elementary, middle, high school and higher education. This is a great resource to share with pre-service instructors, particularly those learning about active learning strategies and ways to promote student engagement.
Internet connection and ability to play YouTube clips
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This brief instructional module seeks to explain the benefits of well-designed online discussions, and offer effective practices for building online discussions that will support set learning outcomes.
The user will be able to utilize training materials to design, moderate, and deliver online discussions.
Target Student Population:
Educators and instructional designers looking to implement online discussions and are in need of a pedagogical justification for their design decisions. Grades K-20.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A basic understanding of the elements of online course design.
It’s a great resource to help with the integration of communication and collaboration skills. It’s easy to access materials to create forums. In that online educators are constantly mitigating the stereotypes of online education being a passive, self-paced experience, this video and handout offer perspectives on active listening afford by well-designed online discussions. The voices of educators from a wide variety of fields is refreshing and the handout gives action items that educators can put into practice without too much effort.
The materials seem to be last updated in 2011, and while the core concepts are still significant and valid, the content could be refreshed to reflect new practices and updates.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The digestible, focused nature of the materials lend them to being incorporated into a larger curriculum quite easily.
While it can be inferred that the intended outcome of the module is to show instructors how to create effective online discussions, it would be helpful to include articulated learning objectives for the module. In the same vein, listing prerequisite knowledge would be helpful to learners before launching into the materials.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
PDF file covers role of discussion forum, planning, strategies for online discussion, mode of delivery, and valuable tips and hints to help those designing and utilizing forums.
The PDF download, which contains fabulous information, is designed to look like an advertisement that is not actually related to the video.
Other Issues and Comments:
Although the Learning to Teach project has concluded the materials are still accessible and relevant.
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