Use Discussion Boards, Google Docs, and Pages Tool for Online, Case-based, Collaborative learning

Description Case-based learning is often used in social science classes, as well as in other disciplines. This can be challenging to implement online. By dividing a class into smaller groups, and assigning a separate discussion board to each group, the groups can do their planning asynchronously and completely online, while the instructor has a complete …

Related Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ask Students to Lead the Online Discussion

Description Although not experts in the discipline, there have been benefits in having students lead online discussions. Students may be more comfortable to participate in the discussion when it is led by an equal member of the class, rather than the instructor who is perceived as the authority (Lim, Cheung, & Hew, 2011). Questioning from …

Related Tags: , , , ,

Create Structured Discussion Prompt to Reduce Ambiguity, Reinforce Purpose, and Promote Discourse

Description Asynchronous online teaching is fundamentally a communications challenge. What is gained in online learning by extending access through a Web-based LMS is offset by the loss of the immediacy and semantic richness of in-person instructional communication (Daft, R. L., & Lengel, R. H., 1986; Moore, M., 1993). In online discussion forums, students, in isolation, …

Related Tags: ,

Scaffold online discussion through ‘steering’

Description Steering is a strategy used in interactional scaffolding of asynchronous discussion. Interactional scaffolding assumes the important role of the instructor as mediating discussion and maintaining a communicative ‘presence’ to support students to participate effectively in this mode of interaction. Interactional scaffolding involves modelling discourse and ways of communicating, and ensuring that the discussion keeps …

Related Tags: , , , ,

Incorporate Online Debates to Stimulate Critical Thinking and Engagement

Description Online debates have been found to elicit higher levels of cognitive presence in online discussions versus the more traditional question-and-answer format (Zydney, deNoyelles, & Chen, 2014). This can be explained in several ways. In a debate, students must argue for or against a position, with the intention of persuading others to assume the same …

Related Tags: , , ,