EC&I 831: Social Media & Open Education
Online discussions may be different than face-to-face, but they can provide participants with a very rewarding experience. Shy students and ESL students participate in an online discussion where they wouldn’t in an f2f one, for example.
I include 3-4 discussion topics each week – keeps them in the forefront of the course participation expectations. I leave the discussions open and visible although late submissions are not graded. I am pleasantly surprised that students seem to go back and review them, or read some of the later posts.
Rather than have students turn in short weekly research assignments, I have them post to the discussion with a link, a description, and a critical thinking question. Then they are to facilitate the discussion of their question and participate in 2-3 other discussions. Seems to work pretty well.
Trying new things is one of the great benefits of teaching online courses. Ideas that work can be reused. Activities that don’t work can be replaced. And students’ expectations are changing – all very exciting.