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Discussion Board

Building a sense of community among students is crucial for a successful online experience.  The Discussion Board is an important tool for interpersonal interaction and can replicate the robust discussion that take place in the traditional classroom.  

Discussions can serve a range of purposes, such as:

  • An online meeting place for social interaction among peers.
  • An additional medium for collaboration and exchange of ideas.
  • A way to demonstrate the understanding or application of course material.
  • A record of discussion which can be reviewed at a later point.
  • A graded activity that demonstrates understanding or application of course material.

Once you have determined your pedagogical needs, you can created forums and threads to organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course.

The Discussion Board tool allows for asynchronous interactions occurring over extended periods of time.  This allows for more flexibility, as well as, reflective communication.  Asynchronous communication offers convenience and flexibility to all participants.  Some benefits include:

  • Participants do not need to be in the same location or time zone.
  • Participants can carefully consider and reflect on the initial message before responding and, hopefully, more thoughtful conversations can occur.
  • Students who are shy about speaking in class may feel more comfortable responding to discussion threads.

The Discussion Board is also available as a group tool that is used by smaller groups within a course.  Group Discussion Boards are only available to users who are members of course groups.

Available Tutorials:  Create Forum (PDF),  Create/Edit/Delete Thread Posts (PDF),  Read and Reply to Thread (PDF),  Save/Edit/Draft Threads (PDF),  Discussion Board Search (PDF),  Grade Forums and Threads (PDF)

Available Videos:  Creating a Discussion Board Forum (VIDEO),  Grading a Discussion Board Forum (VIDEO)