Tips for Online Discussion

  1. Sincerity. The initial post needs to be open ended, with a tone that genuinely seeks discussion.
  1. Mediate. Just like in a Face-to-Face classroom, students respond to guidance when discussing a topic.
  1. Balance Frequency. The more an instructor participates, the more students will. Be aware, however, not to dominate discussion.
  1. Links. Links help to create common ground and can act as evidence. More than 50% of social networking comments contain a link of some sort.
  1. Closure. Think about how you will end discussions with some sort of closure. Studies show that students learn more when they know the discussion has ended.

BONUS: Provide visuals and videos during discussion. Encourage students to create videos of themselves responding, as opposed to replying solely through text. Try it yourself too!

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign