Posted by: emapey | May 8, 2009

Your Participation in Online Course Discussions is Mandatory

In online courses, contribution to online classroom discussions is mandatory, recorded and marked. This is a significant shift for students accustomed to in-class discussions.

There is a tendency for students in onsite classes to not say anything at all, and let the more verbal students dominate the discussion. My impression is these people did not read the assignment, and simply were unable to contribute to the discussion. This doesn’t happen in online discussions, as there is a requirement for all to contribute to discussions; as well as a record of the participation.
Source: AchieveYourCareer Blog

As an example:

To get students to appreciate the significance of the discussion forum, Heflin has a Web page in her courses that explains the grading rubric for discussion and her expectations. An important part of her rubric is having two deadlines for each weeklong discussion. The first deadline, which occurs in the middle of the week, is for students to post their initial responses to the discussion prompt. Then the students have until the second deadline to respond to at least two classmates’ initial responses.
Source: Asynchronous Discussion: The Heart of the Online Course

Online discussions provide opportunities for richer discourse through written discussion that allows students to spend time crafting their responses.

Student interaction mostly occurs through an online threaded discussion that allows students and instructors to interact in asynchronous time. This is a significant shift for students accustomed to in-class discussions. It may provide opportunities for richer discourse through written discussion that allows students to spend time crafting their responses. When asked how they made the most of their online interaction with other students, these students mentioned some interesting techniques. One student commented, “Interacting with the other students was the fun part of my (online) classes. As much as possible, I would post a response, question, or comment to another student’s posting. This built up an online relationship.” Another student suggested, “Respond to several student postings, but make sure you have something meaningful to add, don’t just say ‘good post.’ Also, don’t always interact with the same few classmates. Look for something to say with various students.”
Source: EDUCAUSE Quarterly.

“It is my belief that online learning is harder, because you have to write a lot more,” Lorenzo said. “You have to partake in discussion boards, and you have to contribute significant postings as part of the grade, typically. It’s not as spontaneous as in a classroom. You’re going to think about what you’re going to write.”
Source: International Herald Tribune

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Responses

  1. I understand this perspective. Initially though, much earlier in the year, I found it very difficult to write online because I felt I didn’t understand my course subject material sufficiently. It was challenging to comment in a public sphere about e-learning academic articles etc at that time. I feel it is easier to participate though, if the reader is provided with well-considered and organized readings/articles to consider.


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