By Maryellen Weimer, PhD
I found a nice set of online discussion activities that strike me as good in-class discussion activities as well. One of the reasons discussion so often fails or doesn’t realize much of its potential is the absence of structure. The discussion is too open-ended. It wanders around and is easily sidetracked. I’m not discounting the value of an occasional unstructured exchange, but when students are still learning what academic discourse entails, a structure can keep the discussion focused and on track.
The list of discussion activities are by Laurel Warren Trufant, in the article “Move Over Socrates: Online Discussion is Here.” I’ve added some comments and elaborations (in italics) after the author’s suggestions.
[The list follows.]