Using The Discussion Board - Blackboard

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					Using The Discussion Board:
Making Life Easier for the Professor
                               Strategies to
                                increase
                                student
                                participation
                               Tips to mark
                                discussion posts

Prepared by Dawn McBride, PhD (Educational Psychology)
 Ass’t Professor at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
              dawn.mcbride@zu.ac.ae
                           Moving from
                          “talk & chalk”
                                (passive learning)




By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
      To multimedia teaching
     methods (active learning)




By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
Info to share with students & faculty new to Bb:




                What are
            Discussion Boards?

    MANY ADVANTAGES!
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                                Discussion Groups
                                     WHY?

1. Self – Directive

      a) promotes collaborative learning

      b) encourages active learning /
         taking responsibility for learning
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                                Discussion Groups
                                    WHY?

2. Allows “processing time”:

      a) “digest” material

      b) organize thoughts

      c) critical thought & application
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                                Discussion Groups
                                      WHY?

3. Increases organization
      a) permanent record

      b) organized by themes (threads)



By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                                Discussion Groups
                                      WHY?

 4. Monitor student progress &
    provide/receive feedback

                         BONUS:
                         End of term teaching evaluations


By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
      Five strategies
      to increase
      discussion
      forum
      participation
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
           Strategies to increase discussion forum participation


   #1. Teach & review: How to use
       Bb discussion forums
    in-class demonstrations
    e-tivities (Churchill, T. / Uni. of Leicester)
    introductions… build a learning community
    Bb homework on day 1 & 3
    class activity: Evaluate +/- past Bb postings

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                   WWW Resources
                 (these links are on your handout)


     1. A handout for students on how to use Bb
     2. A easy to read handout on how to use &
             manage the Bb discussion forum
     3. Bb Discussion Board sheets - computer
             screen pictures
     4. Bb manual
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
         Strategies to increase discussion forum participation…

        #2. Constantly use Bb
        post all course handouts in Bb
        use announcement forum & offer
            incentives for checking it
        post exam mean score before
         returning the exams in class
        answer logistical questions in a
         Q & A forum
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
            Dawn’s Q & A FORUM
  Q & A: Ask your questions here :)
     This is a forum for you to ask questions about the
     course; course assignments; careers; etc.

      I will check this board 3x a week and when the traffic to
      the forum increases, I will check it every day.

      Feel free to ask any questions you want. You can post
      your questions anonymously (no names).

      Peace,
      Dawn
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                        TIP – Bb use
  Be very active in the beginning:
                        providing reinforcement
                         vs. “stealing” the show

                     check’in with the low “posters”

                     “show your face” 2x a day &
                            then gradually shift to 2x a wk

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
    Strategies to increase discussion forum participation…



     #3. Use Incentives
     post anonymously for sensitive issues
     points toward a grade
     use bonus points & prizes
     exchange a class

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
    #3. Use Incentives …continued
     use Bb stats:
                 Game
                 Posting frequency


     exam questions drawn from Bb forums
     create “coffee” or “water cooler” social forum


     Other ideas ????
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
     Strategies to increase discussion forum participation…

    #4. Use Bb in assignments

     Bb student of the week (see handout)
     follow up after student presentations (see handout)
     summarize & evaluate postings (see handout)
     use effective questions (see handout)
     assign roles (e.g., “conversa-color”, see Persell)

     Others?

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
          Strategies to increase discussion forum participation.


   #5. KISS principle for marking
       & replying to postings

   keep postings short (e.g., 100-150 words)
   spelling/grammar - include?
   mark everyday vs. at the end
   set easy to manage criteria for posting


By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                  TIPS FOR MARKING
                   FORUM POSTINGS
    #1. Facilitate – don’t take over!
    #2. Decide what and when to mark
    #3. Elicit opinions and personal
                experiences – easier to mark 
    #4. Score reflects average
    #5.           Use simple rubrics
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                                Need help?
   IT staff & IT mentors
   WWW search
   List Server discussions:
    http://is.asu.edu/instruction/faq/usingBL
    KBRD-L.html
   PD conferences 
   Books: A great book for professors:
            Collison, G. et al. (2000). Facilitating
            online learning. Madison, WI: Atwood.

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                         Journals - FYI
 Percell, C., (2004). Focused online
  discussions, moments of difficulty & student
  understanding. Social Science Computer
  Review, 22(2), 197-209.


 Publish your IT/Bb teaching ideas!!!
             - Review of Educational Research
             - Journal of Higher Education
             - Journal on Excellence in College
               Teaching
By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004
                     THANK YOU
               Your feedback, comments &
              questions are always welcome

     Contact Information:

     * Current:   dawn.mcbride@zu.ac.ae
     * Permanent: dawnlorraine@yahoo.com

By Dawn McBride, Oct 28, 2004

				
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