Discussion board assignments are included in nearly every online course, and through these assignments students share their ideas and defend their convictions. Discussion forums are designed to replace in-class discussions, where students talk about their opinions face to face. Some discussion board topics are generated by the professor, and students are supposed to respond to these. Often, these responses are graded. If you’re new to online learning and you want to know more about academic discussion boards, read on!
What Are Online Discussion Boards?
At the end of a week or topic, an instructor may assign a discussion board assignment to encourage students to engage and learn from each other. Students must post their ideas and respond to the ideas of their classmates; responses must be meaningful and related to the course material.
While this writing style is less formal than the essay writing style, students must maintain proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Using emojis and internet slang (LOL, IKR, etc.) is strongly discouraged.
Are Online Discussions Productive?
When face-to-face interactions are not possible, discussion boards are used to keep students engaged. Online discussions can be insightful, and there’s plenty of research which shows students learn most when they’re frequently talking about subjects. Familiarity creates a deep understanding, and students will confidently engage with others when they know what they’re talking about.
How Do Online Discussions Work?
Some discussion boards are ruleless. In these, students start discussions by posting comments that are visible to everyone. On the other hand, some discussions are designed so a student can’t see what others are saying until they make their own comment. The latter is called a post-first discussion board and it’s very popular. The only problem with this type of discussion is there’s no way for you to read the room before commenting. Therefore, you could end up being the only student with a particular opinion.
How To Handle Online Discussions
Discussion board assignments compel introverted students to get engaged, and these students might shy away from sharing their opinions if not required to do so. But students must not use discussion boards like they’re social media. These aren’t forums for texting or micro posting. One must avoid using slang, uncomfortable humor, and sarcasm when trying to get their point across. Also, typing in caps is akin to shouting, so this must be avoided as well.
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