It is anticipated that the initial discussion post should be in the range of 250-300 words. Response posts to peers have no minimum word requirement but must demonstrate topic knowledge and scholarly engagement with peers. Substantive content is imperative for all posts. All discussion prompt elements for the topic must be addressed. Please proofread your response carefully for grammar and spelling. Do not upload any attachments unless specified in the instructions. All posts should be supported by a minimum of one scholarly resource, ideally within the last 5 years. Journals and websites must be cited appropriately. Citations and references must adhere to APA format.
Scholarly engagement and substantive discussion are hallmarks of quality academic discourse. As students, meaningful participation in online discussions allows us to “think through our own views in dialogue with others” (Laurillard, 2002, p. 93). By sharing perspectives and exploring diverse viewpoints, we can gain deeper insight into complex issues.
This prompt challenges us to consider how we might foster more inclusive and respectful online discussions. One strategy is for instructors to clearly outline behavioral expectations and norms at the outset to establish a respectful tone (“Establishing an Effective Online Discussion Board: Best Practices for Instructors”, 2020). Ground rules like avoiding personal attacks and respecting differing opinions help ensure discussions remain constructive. Instructors should also model civil discourse by engaging respectfully with students.
Another approach is for students to listen actively by paraphrasing and acknowledging others’ contributions before adding their own thoughts. This shows engagement and understanding of multiple viewpoints. As Laurillard (2002) notes, “The ability to see an issue from someone else’s perspective is a key component of critical thinking” (p. 94). Paraphrasing and building on peers’ ideas in a respectful manner encourages deeper analysis.
In summary, establishing clear guidelines, leading by example, and cultivating active listening skills can help online discussions become more inclusive and thought-provoking learning experiences. When students feel respected and their views are heard, they may be more willing to engage in meaningful dialogue across differences.
Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. Routledge.
“Establishing an Effective Online Discussion Board: Best Practices for Instructors.” Online Learning Consortium, 23 Jan. 2020, https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/effective_discussion_boards_best_practices_instructors/. Accessed 16 Sept. 2023.