Reading and Resources for Online Discussions:

Peer-Reviewed:

Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation (pdf)

“Meaningful interaction should include responding, negotiating internally and socially, arguing against points, adding to evolving ideas, and offering alternative perspectives with one another while solving some authentic task.”

Strategies for Creating a Community of Inquiry through Online Asynchronous Discussions (pdf) “This framework posits that there are three interrelated presences – social, cognitive, and teaching – that must be perceived by members in order to facilitate a successful educational experience. Classifying strategies within this framework may guide instructors to purposefully select and employ methods that encourage productive, efficient, and meaningful discussions.”

Facilitating online discussions effectively (pdf)

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How to structure online discussions for meaningful discourse (pdf)

“The first element of structure, facilitator guidelines, was shown to increase the number and type of student facilitator postings...Similarly, the second element of structure, evaluation rubrics...had a positive impact on online discourse…The third element of structure, posting protocols...was shown to have a negative impact on meaningful discourse.”

Rules of Engagement; or, How to Build a Better Online Discussion

Let’s take a step back to lively class discussion that happens in a brick-and-mortar class. Participants in a discussion are socially required to attend to the ideas of their peers. If someone blurts something out that was expressed just a moment ago, she reveals that she has not been listening and, thus, is weakening the conversation. There’s a sense of failed responsibility. In the online environment, we should encourage the same sense of communal responsibility by giving our class instructions that lead to engagement.”

A Constructivist Model of Mentoring, Coaching, and Facilitating Online Discussions (pdf)

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On the Effectiveness of Interteaching (pdf) - In a face-to-face environment, but shows as effective.

Interteaching: A Strategy for Enhancing the User-Friendliness of Behavioral Arrangements in the College Classroom (pdf)

“If, as we have asserted, the best way to learn something is to teach it, interteaching develops this repertoire early in the academic careers of our students.”

Other Resources:

How to Make Bad Discussion Questions Better - The whole site is a great resources for designing online learning environments.

Interteaching Online and Face-to-Face - a presentation of transferring interteaching into an online environment.

Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation (pdf) - Resource Guide provided by Edutopia.

Generating and Facilitation Engaging and Effective Online Discussions (pdf) - From BlackBoard.

Course Design Patterns and the Coming Revolution in Course Design - On being able to articulate why discussion boards are important to student learning.

Rapport-Building: Creating Positive Emotional Contexts for Enhancing Teaching and Learning - Emphasizing the importance of building rapport with your students. The advice is in a face-to-face environment, so how do we transfer that?

Creating an (Online) Community of Learners - blog posts from an experienced online teacher on building community and rapport.

Interteaching: Ten Tips for Effective Implementation - Really great advice, online or off.