Facilitating Effective Online Discourse

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Arr.GIF Anne's Portfolio Page


Desk picture
In online courses, nobody sits in the back row.
~Anonymous

Pin.gifIntroduction

Welcome to my professional development lesson, Facilitating Effective Online Discourse. This course seeks to help instructors understand how to create and foster the dialogue that is integral to online learning particularly in asynchronous courses. Please take a few minutes to view Barbara Easton's course, Learning Communities in the Classroom (2008), [1] to gain an understanding of the learning community, particularly her discussion of pedagogical terms: [2].

Topics addressed in this lesson include: principles of effective online discourse, design issues, discussion activities, strategies and implementation, and technology tools for designing effective online discussion activities. The lesson is divided into three units: the learning community and online discussion, constructing online discussion activities, and assessment/evaluation. Each unit is designed to address key points on the topics supported with readings, activities, and a reflection activity upon conclusion of each unit.

Pin.gifPerformance Objectives

General outcomes: Through participation in this professional development lesson, participants will gain an understanding of the importance of facilitating effective online discourse and their role as instructor and will demonstrate concepts, design principles, and strategies by applying them to their own courses using the tools and activities presented.

Specific outcomes:

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the learning community and its relevancy to the discourse that takes place online.
  • Construct discussion activities which implement good design principles, strategies, and best practices.
  • Choose appropriate educational technology tools to enhance discussion.

Pin.gifCLICK ON UNIT 1 TO BEGIN THE LESSON


Arr.GIF Unit 1: The Learning Community and Online Discourse

Target objectives:

Participants will:

1. Understand the learning community and its relationship to discourse in the online environment.

2. Understand the instructor's role in facilitating effective online discourse.

Begin Unit 1: The Learning Community and Online Discourse now.


Arr.GIF Unit 2: Constructing Online Discussion Activities

Target objectives:

Participants will:

1. Understand design principles, strategies, and best practices to consider in the development of discussion activities.

2. Overview tools and technologies used in distance learning for the purposes of creating discussion activities.

3. Demonstrate how to encourage interaction in your course.

Begin Unit 2: Constructing Online Discussion Activities now.


Arr.GIF Unit 3: Assessment and Evaluation

Target objectives:

Participants will:

1. Understand assessment of online discussion activities.

2. Conduct peer reviews of assessment tools.

Begin Unit 3: Assessment and Evaluation now.


References and Resources



Arr.GIF Join the Discussion Forum for workshop participants: User talk:Anne Canale Stalnecker


Arr.GIF Facilitating Effective Online Discourse Home Page

Arr.GIF Unit 1: The Learning Community and Online Discussions

Arr.GIF Unit 2: Constructing Online Discussion Activities

Arr.GIF Unit 3: Assessment and Evaluation

Arr.GIF References and Resources