More on discussion

It’s hard to write too much about the role of discussion in online pedagogy.  Since I’m in the middle of tweaking my courses for Summer terms, I’ve been looking at the courses from Spring and wondering what worked and what didn’t.  I have found, without a doubt, that if you want lively discussion in your courses you MUST make it mandatory that they have original posts of minimum 100 words and that they respond to a classmate.  You also need to make discussion a huge part of the overall grade.   Last term I was beta testing a group designed course that didn’t have a word minimum on the discussion posts and no matter how hard I begged, e-mailed and cajoled the students I could not get them to beef up the posts.  This term in the same class I upped the word count and the different is like night and day. I am proud, not frustrated.  Hooray!  I see the learning!

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Online Educational Specialist