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Forum Strategies

on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:18 pm
We've been invited to write an article for Faculty Focus, to share best practices and ideas for engaging students via online forums.

Let's share strategies. Briefly describe your best tip here for creating a successful forum.


on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:07 am
Use a 2 part question:
1-what are the 2 significant things you've learned in this session?
2-is there anything you need more clarification on?

Use a rubric to grade the response.
Sarah Mc

Post a question

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:08 am
Get the students to post a question and then respond to one of their classmate's questions

focusing students

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 am
Have them post answers to a couple of questions (if online). If in the classroom, a 2 question quiz at the beginning of class. Very Happy

Fun forum

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 am
Include something fun. Have the students reveal something about themselves that makes others want to interact with them.
Wren Mills

Connections, connections, connections

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:12 am
From the first week of class, you have to develop connections or else the forums don't go well.  In addition to having my students say who they are, etc., I ask them to share their hopes and fears about the class-- either the content or the mode (for many I might be their first online or hybrid class).  When they respond, they have to find someone they can connect with to offer encouragement and support on their hopes and fears.  And they do-- great conversations result with tips for success and achieving the shared goals.

And then each forum, they have to not just reflect back on or apply the content to the question/case, they have to reflect on personal experience with the topic(s) at hand.  Since I teach leadership classes, everyone has always had an experience with every topic as either a leader or a follower/subordinate... and the experiences shared lead to rich responses and discussions because people connect to those real applications of the concepts.  This method also encourages them to move through Bloom's levels with the ideas they've read/watched about and takes them from just describing or identifying the concept in action to applying ideas about them and/or analyzing situations.

Strategies for discussion forum

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:13 am
1) Be responsive if conducting synchronous discussion sessions; be sure to engage and challenge student responses
2) Establish the expection of professionalism throughout the discussion process
3) Hold judgment and encourage originality from students
4) Archive discussions for later reflection in class and in preparation for future classes

Create teams

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:14 am
Working with international students, and non-native speakers of English, I've found that creating small teams for the forums, in which students would work collaboratively, helps tremendously with getting their discussion going. It creates more self-confidence in the students.
I also make it mandatory for students to respond to the forums... Sometimes it's done as an online activity, and sometimes if we're talking about a novel in class, as a discussion activity.

challenge 2

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:15 am
give them a creative assignment that will apply to them. I teach psychology so I have given them a paper on "who am I?" where they can interview people in their lives; make a video of it; and share with class in an online discussion. The paper will use a psychological theory to analyze themselves.

Fourm Strategies

on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:16 am
1. Give students some ammo for their response.
2. Leave them with an open-ended question, or even a controversial question - something that will illicit opinions and original, creative thinking (not 100 duplicate answers).
3. In regards to controversial topics - be sure to provide guidelines to encourage civility. Smile
4. Take part in the discussion. You can't respond (or even read) every student's post, but set reminders and take a few minutes a few times a week to respond to some of the posts.
5. Use discussion forum posts as examples (and non-examples) for the in-class portion.
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