Online discussion

Problem-centred tasks

Participating in an online discussion in different contexts. The most effective way to teach how to best participate in an online discussion is to provide students with a range of opportunities to participate in online communities.  

 

  • Participating in a synchronous/asynchronous online discussion on a given/chosen topic

  • Participating in an online discussion while working on another project (e.g. collaborative writing)  

  • Commenting on an online article / blog post / Facebook post / Instagram post​​

 

Scaffolding activities

#1 What's the difference?

Students explore how an online discussion is different from face-to-face. Students explore how a digital space can influence communication. They consider both benefits and limitations. 

#2 Digital footprints

Students are encouraged to think about the implications of participating in an online discussion. They are to consider whether using an avatar or a nickname is appropriate in this context.

#3 Digital space

Students learn how to navigate the digital platform for an online discussion suggested by the teacher (e.g. start a thread, reply, edit post, delete, etc.). They can practise posting short posts in a closed discussion forum.

#4 Rules

Students identify or generate a list of  appropriate / inappropriate  behaviours in an online discussion. By analysing some examples, they then learn what makes comments constructive, polite etc.

#5 Language

By analysing some examples, students can explore a range of communication styles that they can use in the digital space. They can consider what is appropriate or inappropriate (e.g. the use of textspeak, length of the post, etc.).

Students think about the goals of their discussion (e.g. get help, offer information, informal communication, interactions to complete a learning task etc.). Students explore how this goal can shape their participation in an online discussion. 

#7 Powerful posts

Students explore what makes a post in an online discussion powerful. They learn how to write a good post and how to respond to others posts.

#8 Conflicts

Students brainstorm possible strategies for negotiating  conflicts in online discussions in the context of their activity. 

#6 Goals