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Best Practices for Using Discussions

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team
11 1 4,896

Hi All,

This question isn't exactly migration related but it might be one that users who have migrated from blackboard‌ will have faced.  We have a professor who has been using discussions in Blackboard extensively and is now transitioning to Canvas.  In Need: Robust discussion with multiple threads/topics per week with grading across topics, not per to... she is asking for advice about creating "truly discursive, social constructivist learning experiences such as one would expect in a graduate-level seminar."  Please chime in if you have any thoughts.

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laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Thanks for starting this up as a topic of its own,  @scottdennis ‌! I've never been a fan of discussion boards because you really do have to work hard on the "discussion board culture" in a class to make it succeed... but when people are able to make good use of a discussion board for a class, that can be really exciting (just as we have managed to have some super discussions here at Canvas, especially when people are able to bring forward really divergent thoughts on the topic).

Anyway, I'm not a discussion-board-user so I don't have a lot of specifics to offer here, but in response to Vanessa's question I had shared my experience with self-grading for this type of activity, and also with the value of having students do individual reflections after a group discussions so that they leave a personal digital trail over the course of the semester in addition to all the discussion board activity. Here's that comment:

https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/16921-need-robust-discussion-with-multiple-threadstopics-per-... 

Also, I wanted to share some links for my online buddy Debbie Morrison who has written some good posts about discussion board usage at her blog Online Learning Insights:

Instructor involvement in Online Discussions? To be or not?

3 Reasons Students Don’t Participate in Online Discussions

How to Get Students to Participate in Online Discussions

The Methods and Means to Grading Student Participation in Online Discussions

How to Promote Critical Thinking with Online Discussion Forums 

Ten Reasons Students Don’t Participate in Online Discussions & How to Remedy Each

Facilitating Online forums 

There's probably more there at her blog (and she supplies additional links and suggestions at the bottoms of the posts); those are just ones I had bookmarked for one reason or another. 🙂