It's a good idea to think in terms of value added responses. What can you add to advance the discussion?
I like to post the following list at the top of discussion forums in my online courses. It's a good reminder and a handy reference!
Here are some suggestions to help guide you as you respond to each other in discussion forums.
Suggested Techniques for Response :
- Expand on the topic.
- Provide a teaching story that illustrates the main idea.
- Offer a different perspective.
- Provide an online resource relevant to the topic (include a hyperlink).
- Offer a method you use in your classroom.
- Provide a summary of the ideas posted so far (good when you come late to the conversation).
- Ask a specific question (but avoid prompting yes or no answers).
- Ask an open ended (on topic) question.
The netiquette of online discussion:
- Focus on the prompt. Be sure to follow the directions in the prompt closely.
- Respond to those who respond to you! This is essential!
- Don't depend on "Me too" or "I agree" posts. Make your posts substantial
- Work to respond with something that adds value to the discussion.
- Post early in the week. You'll get more response and become more engaged in conversation.
- Avoid doing all of your posting at the end of the week. You miss out on interaction.
- Use direct quotations from the text. Include the Name of the text and page number. (Remember not everyone has the same text.)
I hope this helps!
~ Dennis San Diego