What is the best way for an instructor to summarize and make concluding comments about a discussion?
Hi, Jeanne Erickson Welcome to the Canvas Community! I'm certainly not going to claim that my way is the "best way" . I liked to copy and paste students' initial posts into a text document; I did this as they came in, as there could sometimes be as many as 100-125. After the discussion was closed to student participation, I pasted the text into a cloud generator (I used Wordle) and posted the word cloud image as a wrap-up comment.
Thanks, Stefanie. Great idea!
Did you post this as a comment in the discussion board or as an announcement or somewhere else?
Jeanne, I posted it as the last reply to the discussion.
Hi Jeanne. I like Stefanie Sanders idea and hadn't thought of this approach. Each week of my class I have a discussion thread of some type. At the beginning of each week I like to post an announcement in class. In that announcement I summarize the previous week's key elements, summarize the discussion, and connect this to what we are covering in the new week. I like the announcement option since it cues everyone that they should be working on a new week's module, connects one week to the next, and students don't need to go back to the past week's discussion thread to read the response. It seems like after posting required replies, a lot of students just check the assignment as done and never come back.
Maybe if the discussion questions are related to one another, the summary could also be put as part of the directions of the next discussion? This way students would need to read the summary in order to know what the new prompt is? Just a though.
All the best!
Personally, I like to post a summary as an announcement after the discussion closes. Sometimes I do "best of" comments as Stefanie Sanders described, sometimes I'll "pick on" some students and call them out for really great comments, sometimes I'll clarify some incorrect information (I never identify students in this case, and I address the issue in the discussion itself, as well). With small groups I might summarize what each group talked about. But I personally always do this as an announcement.
I think having short little questions frequently with students, so they are ingaged and using this platform more often, could really help.
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