Writing Discussion Forum Prompts

Discussion Forum Prompts Discussion forums are a hallmark of asynchronous online courses like those at UNE. Previous posts on this site have offered an excellent introduction to Best Practices for Discussion Board Facilitation, and an overview of current conversations around learning outcomes and instructional implications of online discussion forums. In this post, I aim to provide a closer look by offering practical tips for writing discussion forum prompts and instructor posts in relation to intended learning outcomes. In a future blog post, I will propose a two-level discussion model as a way to meet the competing goals of discussions as a space for creative exploration of ideas, versus discussions as a venue for more formal academic discourse. Before going on, I want to… Read more >>
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Report from ACTEM

Resource Articles Today, the Instructional Design team is at ACTEM. Several of us are presenting, in fact. So, for our Vision post this week, we thought we’d post the synopses of our presentations here, and if you would like to you can follow up with the designers responsible for them. Please feel free to email them if you would like to hear more, or if you have a project in mind that would benefit from their expertise. And wish us all luck at ACTEM! The presentations (and presenters) are: Effective Discussion Board Strategies How do you entice students to exchange ideas in an online environment? How do you facilitate discussions when you’re not face-to-face with your class? Join in this interactive session… Read more >>
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It’s all in How You Ask – Posing Questions to Engage Learners

Learning Questions A few months ago, my teenaged son came home from seeing a movie with a friend. I cheerfully asked, “How was the movie?” He responded, “Good.” I shook my head and sighed. “Let me rephrase,” I said. He rolled his eyes at me. “Tell me about the movie!” He smirked. “I already did. It was good.” I felt thwarted by his matter of fact and mildly mocking tone. Without skipping a beat, my daughter called after him in her tattle-tale voice, “I think she wanted you to explain the actual story. You know, like, the plot.” Once again, my son’s lips curled into that special teenage-boy smart-alecky grin. “Duh, I know that. But, that’s not what she asked.” What was… Read more >>
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Discussion Board Best Practices - A Webinar with Susan Hyde

Discussion Board Happy to say our webinar on Discussion Board Best Practices went swimmingly, thanks in almost every respect to our one and only Susan Hyde. Her presentation is recorded below. Resources from the Slideshow (2016). Best Practices for Managing Online Discussions. Teaching Online. The University of Rhode Island. Retrieved from https://web.uri.edu/online/best-practices-in-managing-online-discussions/ Infande, Al. (2013). A Dozen Strategies for Improving Online Student Retention. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/a-dozen-strategies-for-improving-online-student-retention/ Ladyshewsky, Richard K. (2013). Instructor Presence in Online Courses and Student Satisfaction. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Vol. 7:  No. 1, Article 13. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1377&context=ij-sotl (2009). Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation: Resource Guide. TeacherStream, LLC. Retreived from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation.pdf (2011). Using Online Discussions to Enhance Learning in Your Class. Course… Read more >>
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Collaboration in Online Courses: Group Work

putting together a jigsaw We often use group work in our online courses, and success varies among courses, projects, and students. Overall, our ultimate goal is organic learning, fostering an online community of learners and stimulating active participation in it. This, however, is not always achieved with a stellar consistency. Reflecting on our use of groups in courses, a few issues become apparent. Recognizing and addressing these issues is an important part of the course design process. This article examines some of the things you commonly find in a course with groups and group project, and some factors that can either make or break or improve the user experience, and offers suggestions on what to include in order to ensure collaboration opportunities and go… Read more >>
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Discussions in Online Courses

speech bubble The apparent convenience of online education is what attracts a lot of students in the first place. Imagine sitting on your couch with a bowl of cereal, still in your pjs and with uncombed hair, and working away on your assignments and readings where no one can see you. The flip side of the coin, the absence of the physical presence is one aspect of online/distance education that makes students feel isolated so much more than in a brick and mortar college program. Isolation is one of the primary complaints. It is also an important factor to account for when designing activities for online students for success. At SSW here at UNE, we often include group activities or at least… Read more >>
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Look at all these Writing Tools in Blackboard

Blackboard Hey y’all! One of Blackboard’s strengths is the variety of tools it has that allow students to express themselves in writing. I’ve divided these tools into two camps, Individual and Social. Tools in the Individual camp are designed for writing projects that only the student and the teacher see; tools in the Social camp are designed to engage the class as a whole or students in groups. Individual Assignments A Blackboard Assignment stores all the information from when the student submits his or her project through the assignment portal. The assignment portal links that information directly to a column in the grade center. Each submission is called an attempt, and any assignment can be programmed to allow multiple attempts or… Read more >>
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