Communicate 4.2.3 Discussions

In the online classroom, discussion forums serve as way for students to reflect their understanding of concepts in the learning process. Discussion forums are an effective ways of assessing students’ level of understanding, especially for those who don’t “test well”.
The instructor should pose content related questions that require higher level thinking and provide guidelines so students know what the expectations are. The instructor’s responses to students’ threads are very important and can encourage students’ participation in discussions.
The discussion forums could be used effectively when the instructor and all students take part in the discussions, the topics are content related, and clear guidelines are provided and followed. The discussion forums could be used ineffectively if the instructor does not provide clear guidelines, does not respond to the threads, and the discussions continue to go off topic.
Some of the best practices for facilitating forums online is for students to respond to multiple posts, so they can read more of their peers’ thoughts on the topics.

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