A Discussion About Discussions: Increasing Student Interaction in Discussion Boards


Discussion boards are still one of the primary tools used for student interaction within online courses.  However, due to the way the tool has historically been used, students view discussions as busy work and tend to put less than their best effort into the activity.  This inevitably leads to instructor frustration as the tool that promised to mimic traditional conversations in a classroom has fallen short as it degrades to an "I Agree with what they said" type of interaction.  After reviewing the literature on discussion board practices and semesters worth of trial and error, the university has begun implementing new styles of discussion boards and techniques that have seemed to increase the quantity and quality of the interactions on the activities.  Faculty, students, and multiple QM Reviewers have stated that the new method of discussion boards overcome the perceived busy work stigma associated with the tool and that they enjoy engaging in the stronger discussions with classmates.  In this session, we will focus on the techniques for creating these stronger discussion boards so that participants can use them in their courses.

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Names of Co-Presenters
Kim Roberts
Lynn Frank