The following quality, timing, and response tips were suggested by my network of e-learning professionals and by the participants in E-Learning for Educators, part of the UW-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program.
8 Quality and Timing Tips for Online Discussion:
- Focus on the prompt; follow the directions in the prompt closely.
- Respond to those who respond to you! This is essential!
- Avoid short "Me too" or "I agree" posts. Make your posts substantial
- Add value to the discussion (see below).
- Post early in the week. You'll get more response and become more engaged in conversation.
- Respond throughout the week; you help sustain the dialog.
- Avoid doing all of your posting at the end of the week. You miss out on interaction.
- Use direct quotations from your text or online source. (Cite the source so your reader can find it.)
8 Value Added Response Techniques:
- Ask a specific question (but avoid prompting yes or no answers).
- Ask an open ended (on topic) question that invites a response.
- Expand on the a specific element of the post.
- Provide a teaching story that illustrates the a main idea.
- Offer a different perspective on an essential idea in the post.
- Provide an online resource relevant to the topic (include a hyperlink).
- Describe a method you use in your practice.
- Provide a summary of the ideas posted so far (good when you come late to the conversation).
- Create a mix of response styles; writing, audio and video keep things interesting.
Please Share tips and techniques you use to improve online discussion!