Collect student feedback; e.g., survey students to find out how the discussion is contributing to their learning. All Rights Reserved. The following real-world discussion topics for learners are some that you can build lessons from on a small or large scale. Warm-up Task: Talk about the last thing you bought, or play twenty questions and try to guess what each person most recently bought. Then progressing If you are looking for what if questions, icebreaker questions for small groups, group questions, funny conversation topics, and more. Online faculty assign discussion board questions because there is an overwhelming amount of research saying students deeply learn and grow through frequent conversations and debates on … What are the three criteria used to judge whether patients are competent to make a medical decision for themselves? We are better off letting users keep the same password indefinitely. EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS FOR LEADING DISCUSSIONS Effective questions are the key to an effective discussion. Soliciting student responses to discussion posts is a common activity in online courses, but assessing the quality of those responses can be challenging for instructors. Connect ideas discussed online to the rest of the course, e.g., answer questions raised online during class, connect topics from the online discussion to in-class discussions, etc. Therefore, consider periodically responding to individual postings or main themes in the discussion. Prior to starting an online discussion group, consider facilitating an activity to help students understand the dynamics of their team and what their own role in the group will be. Require Students to Cite Sources. To help the other participants quickly understand what your post is about, be sure that your title clearly indicates the content that will follow. However, starting with a few knowledge-type questions is an excellent way to get students warmed-up. Controversy Encourage reflection and self-monitoring; e.g., ask students to create summaries. I’ve found that the best book club discussion questions are ones that are open-ended and that get people to share their personal opinions. Over 150+ Great Icebreakers Questions. Students can then evaluate how well the others’ examples illustrate the concept. The concept was developed as a way to understand political structures, but once you understand the concept—really understand it—you find that a lot of ordinary situations are prisoners’ dilemmas. Most online faculty know that discussion is one of the biggest advantages of online education. But using online discussion tools can be one great way to help your students build these skills. Give students instructions and examples to clarify what types of questions are most effective for generating discussion and how they can use the questions to deepen their own learning (e.g. Establish clear criteria for posts; e.g., share models or a rubric with the students. If you need more questions, you’ll find them here. Academic Leadership. But the online panel discussion also addressed warning signs … Designing Effective Team Projects in Online Courses, What Research Tells Us about Online Discussion, The Instructor’s Challenge: Moving Students beyond Opinions to Critical Thinking, Giving Students an Individualized Experience in Online Learning: Staying Connected while Disconnected, A Reflection on the Sudden Transition: Ideas to Make Your Synchronous Online Classes More Fun, The Blessings and Benefits of Using Guest Lecturers, Managing Difficult Conversations: Advice for Academic Leaders, Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning. By breaking the questions down into parts, … “My ideas about today’s readings” isn’t nearly as cl… With constantly changing passwords, users are forced to write them down in an easy-to-find location or use an easy-to-guess algorithm (my street address followed by a ‘1,’ then changed to a ‘2,’ then changed to a ‘3,’ etc.). Consider this question in an information security class: A fundamental tenet of information security is that you must force the user to periodically change his or her password. Previous posts on this site have offered an excellent introduction to Best Practices for Discussion Board Facilitation, and an overview of current conversations around learning outcomes and instructional implications of online discussion forums. The posting(s) builds upon the ideas of another participant or two, and digs deeper into the question(s) posed by the instructor. When discussion moves to an online arena such as a Canvas discussion board, many of the same challenges can crop up, along with new ones unique to the digital medium. What, if anything, do you tell the man, his wife, or the daughter? The questions sparked stories, confessions and surprises, and for many months thereafter, my kids would beg me to get out the questions whenever we had a lapse in conversation at a meal or on a long car ride. If possible, try to clarify how the discussion relates to the lectures or the readings. Poll Everywhere. This infographic highlights a variety of suggestions that can yield more meaningful and deeper online … S tudent discussion differentiates online education from the old correspondence courses. © Magna Publications. Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions generally lend themselves to more in-depth discussion of the topic. It integrates examples with explanations or analysis and demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications. In this post, I aim to provide a closer look by offering … A great question will challenge your students, sparking collaborative thought-provoking class conversations that lead students to communicate with their peers. CREST+ Model: Writing Effective Online Discussion Questions by Akin and Neal. But using online discussion tools can be one great way to help your students build these skills. The instructor’s presence online emphasizes the value of the discussion, and helps students to retain interest in the discussion and clarity of its purpose. Remember to consider how you will determine if the discussion is successful and students are learning. Encourage students to draw on their unique backgrounds and support multiple perspectives because the exploration of different viewpoints fosters critique, insight and understanding. It’s been argued that the highest form of understanding is demonstrated through transfer of principles to new situations. 2. … Really great for meeting new people! Icebreaker Questions for Amazing Group Discussion. Welcome all voices to the forum to create an inclusive sense of community and foster the development of trust and respect in the community members. I like to do video summaries. Like Twitter in the classroom, online chats can provide an opportunity to ask questions or make comments during an online lecture. It requires only a cheap webcam and a few minutes of my time. Try … Tie student ideas together and revisit past contributions to incorporate them in new discussions. However, starting with a few knowledge-type questions is an excellent way to get students warmed-up. These questions have been adapted from "Engaging Students in Discussion Online" (from the Teaching and Learning Bulletin 6.2 [2002] produced by the University of Washington’s Center for Instructional Development and Research) 1. It’s an essay question and should be left to an essay assignment. Tips for the Process of Online Facilitation: Identify how the discussion board is connected to the course grade, if you will grade student posts, and how the discussions might prepare students for other graded course assignments & assessments. Below are some question types that will help generate real discussion. In I noticed early that I didn't get the same sense of accomplishment out of my online discussion as I did from my on-campus classes. Introduce the discussion with a prompt that lets the students understand your expectations, their role in the discussion and the basis for the discussion (e.g., readings, in-class discussion, lecture material, personal opinion, new resources). Discussion prompts are the written “springboard” from which online discussions are launched and are essential to encourage shared understanding (Du, Zhang, Olinzock, & Adams, 2008). Even waiting overnight can give you enough distance to respond in a calmer and more professional manner. If you are not familiar with it, the upshot is that there are situations in which the rational choice for each individual involved leads to a situation that is not optimal for anyone. For example, an instructor may not be sure when and how he or she should intervene in order to guide the discussion in a productive direction. Establish ground rules; e.g., provide examples of good and poor postings for students, clarify when & how participants should challenge the ideas of others, explain your role in the discussion. His daughter is brought in as the best available match as a donor. Pose good questions. Start by establishing your learning objectives for the online discussion and identifying how they relate to the course goals. In any case, strive for thoughtfulness and nuance. 200 Questions to get to know someone – Plenty of great questions on this page that you can use for conversation starters. Pause for student self-discovery and peer interaction. There are many things that students may want to know before participating in a discussion board for an online class. In my courses, I require two answers to the initial questions and two additional replies to classmates by the end of each week.Be careful what you wish for, however! Let them serve as great conversation topics, or as the basis for deeper learning and problem-solving quests. But this practice actually undermines security. Do you agree? Anticipate responses so that you can plan targeted follow-up questions or responses. Plus, the ability to engage in online discussions responsibly is a great 21st-century skill in and of itself. Those classes began and ended at specific times; when the bell rings, you know you're done. The posting(s) integrates multiple viewpoints and weaves both class readings and other participants' postings into their discussion of the subject. Hong Zhiu, of the University of Texas at San Antonio, did a meta-analysis of studies of online discussion over the past 15 years and has interesting findings about participation. Open Questions allow for expression, multiple answers or solutions and for the exploration of the unknown. Best Practice: Effective Discussion Questions A special note from Product Management on COVID-19: The team has been taking several pre-emptive infrastructure measures to help prepare for significantly increased traffic as a growing number of schools move to fully online courses. S tudent discussion differentiates online education from the old correspondence courses. Description Discussion prompts are the written “springboard” from which online discussions are launched and are essential to encourage shared understanding (Du, Zhang, Olinzock, & Adams, 2008). Case studies are an ideal way to illuminate the practical consequences of different concepts. The number one mistake is to confuse a discussion question with an essay topic. Expose student misconceptions and questions, Situate abstract tasks into authentic context, Identify key-concepts in a reading or practice close reading, Extend or apply issues developed in the course, Prepare for an in-class discussion; e.g., students can reflect on the readings, answer simple questions, solve simple problems, review concepts, or compare experiences. It would be easy to hold online discussions to higher standards than discussions happening face-to-face. Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions generally lend themselves to more in-depth discussion of the topic. (iStockphoto) When I started my online … Excerpted from Online Learning 2.0: Discussion Questions That Work, Online Classroom, 13.8 (2013): 4,7. A discussion forum is an excellent medium to share with students what you’ve learned from your own studies and experiences. 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