Extend Learning using Online Discussion Forums

Extend Learning using Online Discussion Forums



We will use Canvas (or Schoology) to conduct the Workshop activities.  


Canvas:  Use this link & Access Code to make your free account:  https://canvas.instructure.com/enroll/XKWPB8

Schoology:  Please go to http://www.schoology.com and create an account.  Access our Schoology course:  (Access Code: RHVXC-WWPPF)


Extend Learning using Online Discussion Forums

Extend learning by using online discussion forums with middle and high schools students.  Provide opportunities for your students to demonstrate their understanding of concept presented in class, have conversations with their peers, debate topics in a safe and respectful manner, and share resources using online discussion forums.  We'll learn how to set up online discussion forums and compare features of Canvas, Schoology and Edmodo (and others) to see how to give every child a voice in the classroom.  Bring your own device!

 

  1. Introductions / Goals:
  2. "Old School" discussion forum:
    1. Look at the prompts displayed on the paper forums around the room. Add your initial post to one of the forums with your sticky notes.
    2. Read through the others posts and respond to three additional posts.
    3. Go back to your to initial post and respond to a comment made on yours.
  3. Speed-dating partner activity:  
    1. Brainstorm the benefits of discussion forums.  
      1. Examples:  Time to reflect upon their ideas before sharing, give equal time for all students to participate, can lead to more reflective responses and in-depth learning, encourages student leadership and allows guest experts to participate in the course.
      2. Join another group: Physically arrange your small group as an "online discussion forum" -- and continue the conversation -- then join another group and continue
  4. Edutopia Article: Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation:
    1. Access this article: https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation.pdf
    2. Read page 3 to understand how discussion board activities can serve a variety of purposes and can be used to meet a wide range of instructional activities.
    3. Brainstorm web map: How could you use a discussion forum with purpose in your subject area or grade level?  Examples: Demonstrate understanding of a concept presented in class, community building, debate topics in an academic forum, build consensus around a topic or share resources, files, and links.
    4. Rank your ideas according to importance.
  1. Discuss:
    1. Participate in an interactive discussion forum using Canvas (Course code: XKWPB8) or Schoology (Access Code: RHVXC-WWPPF) to share your top three ideas for discussion forums with purpose and your rankings.
    2. Read the prompt and follow the directions for responses.
  2. Question Prompts: 
    1. Workshop members will break into small groups (by grade level / subject area) to draft prompts for online discussion forums based on the question types below (Eduopia p5).
    2. Write the prompt in two ways: Good & Better; Fill out Google Form with prompt suggestions / View Responses -- or use the "Writing Better Questions" discussion forum (Canvas).
      1. Exploratory - probe facts & basic knowledge;
      2. Challenge - Interrogate assumptions, conclusions, or interpretations;
      3. Relational - Ask for comparisons of theme, ideas or issues;
      4. Diagnostic:  Probe motives or causes;
      5. Action:  Call for a conclusion or action;
      6. Cause & Effect:  Ask for causal relationships between ideas, actions or events;
      7. Extension - Expand the discussion;
      8. Hypothetical - Pose a change in the facts or issues;
      9. Priority - See to identify the most important issues;
      10. Summary - Elicit synthesis
  3. Netiquette: (workshop only)
    1. Workshop members will compose netiquette rules for their classroom situation.  Topics to consider:  Encouraging courteous discussion. teaching students how to respond appropriately, insisting on use of academic writing style, etc.
    2. Use any type of paper or technology to create your rules.
    3. Add a photo of your rules to the Schoology discussion forum
    4. Optional:  Share your strategies to facilitate better online discussion and participation (Canvas)
  4. Edmodo Discussion Forum: 
    1. Go to the Edmodo (Access code:: i67mug) and share creative strategies to use with discussion forums: ask experts, debates, polling, role play, peer review, current events, time capsule, “A Day in the Life”, and a different outcome for several academic subject areas. Edutopia article pages 8-10.
    2. Or go to Creative Strategies to Use with Discussion Forums (Canvas)
  5. Features: 
    1. Compare features of Schoology and Edmodo (and others).
  6. Your Turn: 
    1. Setup discussion forum using one of the writing prompts and/or strategies developed during workshop.
    2. Reflection: Review the Time Management tips (pages 11-12).
  7. My Take Away: 
    1. Write down one goal - OR - one take away from today's workshop. Share using Today's Meet - a simple backchannel website: https://todaysmeet.com/NCCE
  8. Workshop Evaluation

Resources:
  1. Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence - Online Discussions (Links to an external site.)
  2. Edutopia (pdf) - Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation
  3. Alice Keeler's blog - Creating an online discussion board using Google Sheets (Links to an external site.)
  4. EdTechnocation blog - 3 Ways to have Online Discussions with Google Classroom (Links to an external site.)
  5. Advice for eLearners - How to Write an A+ Discussion Posting (Links to an external site.)
  6. Edutopia discussions on "Discussion Forums (Links to an external site.)"
  7. Resources from Collaborize Classroom -
  8. The Art of Asking Questions (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
  9. The Do's and Don'ts of Student Communication Online (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
  10. Formulating Strong Questions (Links to an external site.)
  11. Online Discussion Rubric (Links to an external site.)