Take Control of Online Discussions

Why do students sometimes seem unusually quiet online, read here? There are no instructors in the entire world who have figured out this mystery. The issue is that the design of the program often does not align with the intended learning outcomes. The result is that these discussions end up becoming ‘tasks’ with forced conversation. Participating is crucial, no matter how conducive the discussions are. Learn how to be a good participant and get brownie points for the instructor.

Stay up-to-date: Make sure you read all the posts in the thread. By doing this, you can avoid repeating an opinion that’s already been expressed. Then, if there is anything you need to add, make sure you first acknowledge and confirm the original point. Before addressing any disagreements, you should first accept the viewpoint of the person who is opposing you. Bring up an alternative idea if you don’t agree with the view.

Using proper language is important. Not only does the instructor evaluate content, but he also looks at things like spelling, grammar, writing style and sentence construction. Bad grammar will make you look foolish. You should avoid using emoticons derived from social networks.

Please be respectful of other students. Don’t tell racist jokes or sexist ones. It’s common knowledge that using capital letters is equivalent to shouting.

Remind yourself to sign in as often as possible. It is important to note that participation in forums counts for your final grade. They expect full participation. The earlier comments are often the ones which set the stage for the conversation. If you do this, it may lead to extra points.

Be sure to proofread and double-check your facts before hitting “Submit”. Your comment will be posted and you won’t have much control over it. Cite the sources you used when you refer to facts in books, magazines, and journals. This will also help to prevent plagiarism.

Be sure to read all instructions: Guidelines for discussion clearly state the rules that must be adhered to. You must adhere to the specified word count and discussion topic.

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