A discussion board is a “space” where students can further delve into classroom content. It can promote collaboration, and offer individuals room to explore topics, issues, and/or questions. The discussion board is an excellent tool for students who may feel more comfortable expressing their understanding of course content in a written format, as opposed to verbally.
Discussion boards can also be used to further employ the resources of the Internet by allowing students to include hyperlinks to relevant content. Since discussion boards are asynchronous, they offer an opportunity for conversation that again cannot be found within the classroom environment.
What makes a good discussion board topic?
The ideal discussion board topic should always facilitate learning opportunities. It should ideally
- Address the course content
- Reveal your own understanding of that content
- Promote peer interaction.
Tips for writing a good discussion thread
- The Three Part Post (Developed by Dr. Judith Boettcher, Executive Director of the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking)
- If the discussion question asks you to respond to an open-ended query pertaining to a particular problem, challenge, or idea, a good thread will incorporate three parts:
- Part 1: State what your thought or recommendation might be. In other words, answer the question, “What do you think?”
- Part 2: State why you think what you think. Examine your own experiences, beliefs, or knowledge. It is also a good place to provide references, textual quotations, and/or links to materials that reinforce your opinion.
- Part 3: State what you wish you knew or directly solicit the opinion of classmates (in other words, ask a question!)
Example of a successful discussion thread
Discuss your thoughts on the current national preoccupation with reality TV shows. In what ways are they used to represent or reinforce gender, racial, or economic stereotypes?
Response from student 1:
Reality shows are certainly an ever-expanding phenomenon, yet—in my opinion—they often convey many harmful stereotypes that undermine whatever entertainment value they possess. The genre exploded in the new millennium with shows like Survivor and Big Brother, which chronicled the relationships and personalities of “real” people within a competitive context. In recent years, however, reality shows have increasingly focused on the day-to-day lives of “authentic” individuals. There is one show that I think particularly epitomizes the current dilemmas inherent in this latter type of reality programming: Jersey Shore.
Jersey Shore was initially developed by the MTV network in 2009. The most recent season features the exploits of eight so-called “guidos” and “guidettes”: Paul (“DJ Pauly D”), Ronnie, Nicole (“Snooki”), Mike (“The Situation”), Vinny, Jenny (“J-Wow”), Deena, and Sammi (“Sweetheart”). I initially began watching the show at the insistence of my roommate, and occasionally follow the exploits of the cast due to their constant presence in both gossip magazines and mainstream media sites. I—along with many critics of the show—find it problematic due to three main criteria: their representation of Italian-Americans from New Jersey, their portrayal of the lifestyle of young Americans, and the show’s depiction of gender stereotypes.
Adam K. Raymond of The New York Times Magazine notes that the show has particularly infuriated Italian-Americans; Richmond states that the president of UNICO, an Italian-American service organization, has asked MTV to cease production of Jersey Shore because “it perpetuates the stereotype of young Italian men as mindless drunk oafs with more hair gel than brain cells.”
Indeed, Jersey Shore frequently shows male cast members who engage in alcohol-induced debauchery, avoid “grenades” (unattractive females), and whose only other occupations are “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry). The show’s females are also subject to equally negative representation, in that they are all heavily tanned, wear provocative clothing, and are constantly on the prowl for the perfect “juice-head gorilla” (read: a young man who likely takes steroids to increase his bulk.) For the show’s fourth season, the cast relocated to Italy, where they spent several months partying, fighting, and generally perpetuating negative stereotypes of American youth. Although this show supposedly chronicles the experiences of “real” Italian- Americans from New Jersey, only two of the cast members (Sammi and Deena) are actually from New Jersey, and not all of the individuals are ethnically Italian. The show thus, in my opinion, is deliberately designed to accentuate these stereotypes.
My question is this: is there anything redeeming about Jersey Shore? Do you think that these types of reality shows (that follow the lives of “real” people in day-to-day settings) are more detrimental than competition realty shows like Survivor?
Response from student 2 to student 1’s post:
I agree that Jersey Shore, by and large, demonstrates many negative stereotypes. And yet, you cannot ignore its current cultural relevance. According to Rebecca Brown, an MTV blogger, several universities are using Jersey Shore as a platform for discussion.
For instance, a student at the University of Chicago intends to sponsor a conference on the show which will include topics such as “The construction, localization and performance of ethnicity, or I'm not white, I'm tan‟ “. Jersey Shore has the potential to be detrimental, if these stereotypes are perceived as fact. But, in my opinion, it is very obvious that the Jersey Shore cast members are characters, not “real” people.
Also—just to play the devil’s advocate—I think that several reality shows (even those of the “day to day” variety) have positive repercussions. Consider a show that airs on the TLC channel—”What Not to Wear.” This program is hosted by two individuals who provide makeovers to primarily women. Unlike Jersey Shore, these women are portrayed as real people, not as “one-dimensional” stereotypes. Although some of the individuals on the show are more receptive to makeovers than others, they are not relegated to simple labels of “hero” and “villain.” This show has both positive intentions and consequences. Again, I certainly admit that many programs do reinforce negative stereotypes, but it is difficult to classify all “reality shows” as representing these stereotypes universally.
- Strive to always bring up new, interesting comments. There is no point reiterating a remark that has already been made. You should always try to further the discussion—be provocative! Even if you have a similar opinion as the previous respondent, bring up an additional example or resource. The second poster in the above example includes many comments for the next student—or even the previous poster—to agree or disagree with.
- Good discussion threads should be substantial but concise: convey only the information that is most meaningful and accessible to your classmates. Make sure to always re-read your response! A good habit is to copy and paste your thread into a Word document prior to posing to check for errors in spelling and grammar.
- Don’t just state that you agree or disagree with the poster—make sure you offer an inventive reason why (avoid things like “You go girl, I totally agree!”) Always be professional and respectful to your classmates and avoid ad hominem attacks (criticism against the person, not his/her comments.)
How do you write a good discussion board post? ›
Good discussion threads should be substantial but concise: convey only the information that is most meaningful and accessible to your classmates. Make sure to always re-read your response! A good habit is to copy and paste your thread into a Word document prior to posing to check for errors in spelling and grammar.How do you make a discussion board interesting? ›
- Attach Photos, Images, Videos, Tweets, Links, etc,: ...
- Read All the Posts: ...
- Respond to Students with a Question, Affirmation, or Feedback: ...
- Ask Questions and Challenge Your Students to Think: ...
- If a Discussion Is Lagging, Try Re-Framing the Question:
- Only post things that you would want everyone (in school, at home, in other countries) to know. ...
- Do not share personal information. ...
- Think before you post. ...
- Know who you're communicating with. ...
- Consider your audience. ...
- Know how to give constructive feedback.
You should include information about your background, i.e., work experience, why you are taking this class, and/or something unique [personal] about yourself that you would not mind sharing with your classmates. If you would like, you may also attach a photograph or picture to accompany your introduction.What are the key points in writing discussion? ›
- Summary of results. ...
- Critical analysis of results. ...
- Relate results to the field. ...
- Relate results to the gap in the field. ...
- Speculate beyond current knowledge. ...
- Future directions.
On principle, simple, clear and effective language should be used throughout the text. In addition, a pre-peer review process is recommended to obtain feedback on the manuscript. The discussion section can be written in 3 parts: an introductory paragraph, intermediate paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph.How do you start a discussion paragraph? ›
A good discussion section includes analysis of any unexpected findings. This paragraph should begin with a description of the unexpected finding, followed by a brief interpretation as to why you believe it appeared and, if necessary, its possible significance in relation to the overall study.What are five advantages of discussion method? ›
The Discussion Method produces student learning outcomes including (1) how to reconcile opposing arguments; (2) how to think on one's own two feet; (3) how to formulate cohesive arguments to reach a consensus; (4) how to mitigate fear of sharing individual opinions by building relationship among classmates; (5) how to ...What is the 3CQ method? ›
Description: The 3CQ Model of discussion (Compliment-Connect-Comment-Question) was developed by Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell, a high school teacher who sought to train her students in effective communication in an online discussion forum. The model provides a structure by which learners may respond to peer posts.What should you not do when posting in a discussion board? ›
Before posting your question to a discussion board, check if anyone has asked it already and received a reply. Just as you wouldn't repeat a topic of discussion right after it happened in real life, don't do that in discussion boards either. Stay on topic – Don't post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts, or pictures.
What should you not do in a discussion section? ›
- Don't introduce new results: You should only discuss the data that you have already reported in your results section.
- Don't make inflated claims: Avoid overinterpretation and speculation that isn't directly supported by your data.
The first post starts the thread; this may be called the TS (thread starter) or OP (original post). Posts that follow in the thread are meant to continue discussion about that post, or respond to other replies; it is not uncommon for discussions to be derailed.What are 3 elements of a good introduction? ›
There are three parts to an introduction: the opening statement, the supporting sentences, and the introductory topic sentence.What are the 3 common essential parts of a good introduction? ›
- An opening hook to catch the reader's attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement. Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay.What are 4 types of discussion? ›
Based on direction and tone, I grouped conversations into four types: debate, dialogue, discourse, and diatribe. Debate is a competitive, two-way conversation. The goal is to win an argument or convince someone, such as the other participant or third-party observers.What are five planning steps of discussion? ›
- Information evaluation.
- Productive collaboration.
- Attentive listening and subsequent expression of ideas.
- The ability to use and adapt media and visual displays in context.
- Synthesis of multiple-source information.
Description These five types of open-ended, level three questions (enduring, critical, hypothetical, metacognitive, & socratic) provide students with structured ways to format ideas and facilitate higher-level discussion.What is the main focus of the discussion section? ›
The purpose of the discussion section is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in relation to what was already known about the research problem being investigated and to explain any new understanding or insights that emerged as a result of your research.What are the three parts in organizing the discussion section? ›
Organizing the Discussion Section
The structure of the discussion section may be different from one paper to another, but it commonly has a beginning, middle-, and end- to the section.
What are the three components of writing skill 3 points? ›
These components are: grammatical skill, compositional skill, and domain knowledge.What phrases can I use to start a discussion? ›
- Useful phrases for discussions.
- Asking about or for an opinion.
- Could you tell me ....? What do you think about/of ....? What's your opinion about ...? Do you think/feel ....? ...
- Asking for an explanation.
- Could you explain to me ....? Could someone please tell me ....? Just tell me the reason why ....? ...
- Giving your opinion.
In the first few sentences of the Discussion, state the main problem that you were trying to address. Although this should relate to the information that you provided in the Introduction, this paragraph should not repeat statements that have already been made.What are the three types of discussion? ›
- Discussion Type Summary. Initial Ideas Discussions. ...
- Building Understanding Discussion. Purposes/Goals. ...
- Consensus Discussion. ...
- Consensus Discussion.
- Padlet. Description: Padlet is a digital pin board software, a virtual wall and collaborative space, that allows users to gather a variety of objects into a single digital place. ...
- Piazza. ...
- Discord. ...
- Dotstorming. ...
Discussion boards are reflective in nature. They force students to read other perspectives and carefully consider a response. The social aspects of the face-to-face classroom are very intimidating for many students, especially for ESL speakers, new students, and those who are simply shy or quiet.Which is the best platform for discussion? ›
- Invision Community.
Personal reflections: “What do you think about ___?” “How do you feel about ___?” Past experiences: “In the past, how have you responded when ___?” “Have you ever had an experience where ___?”How do you answer a discussion board question? ›
There are three main ways to respond constructively to a post: “No, because...” • “Yes, and…” • “Yes, but...” If you disagree with someone's post, show that you appreciate that your classmate has an opinion, even if it's different from your own. Don't personally attack the writer, and avoid using emotional appeals.How long should discussion board posts be? ›
Your initial response should be 200 to 300 words in length, cited in APA style, and is due by Thursday, Day 3. to use concepts and ideas from your weekly reading as the basis for answering your discussion.
How do you end a discussion post? ›
It's always a good idea to end your response with a probing, open-ended question that takes the discussion forward. You can ask a thoughtful question to understand the logic behind someone's explanation or a follow-up question to have a classmate elaborate on their response.
You are also expected to reply to at least two student peers' postings per discussion board topic. Peer replies should be thoughtful, reflective, and respectful while prompting further discussion using content knowledge, critical thinking skills, questioning, and relevant information of the topic.What are 3 important do's and 3 important don'ts in a group discussion? ›
- 1) Dress Formally. ...
- 2) Don't Rush Into It. ...
- 3) Keep Eye Contact While Speaking. ...
- 4) Allow Others to Speak. ...
- 5) Don't be Aggressive. ...
- 6) Maintain Positive Attitude. ...
- 7) Speak Sensibly. ...
- 8) Listen Carefully to Others.
- Don't take the lead, if you don't know the topic.
- Don't hesitate to take the lead, if you know it.
- Don't copy or follow someone else's ideas or comments.
- Don't contradict your own points.
- Don't avoid eye contact with fellow participants.
- Avoid interrupting others.
- Discussing or interpreting your results. ...
- Reporting background information or attempting to explain your findings; this should have been done in your Introduction section, but don't panic! ...
- Ignoring negative results.
- Be on time and bring everything you will need (model the behavior you expect from students)
- State your expectations clearly (e.g. “For our meetings, you need to have read the texts and prepared three questions.”), and tell students how to reach you if they have questions.
Using APA in discussion posts is similar to using APA for your papers. Think of your discussion post as a short APA paper - you will use a formal writing style (vocabulary appropriate to an academic setting, and relevant to the subject, and using standard English grammar and spelling to the best of your abilities).What is the difference between writing a paper and writing a discussion post? ›
Writing a paper is you simply telling people what you believe or think, giving orstating your position or where you stand on a particular subject matter while writing a discussionpost is you sharing your opinion or believes with other people and requesting or seeking for theirown opinion or believe back in return.What are the 7 types of introduction? ›
- Setting the Scene.
- Keep your first sentence short.
- Don't repeat the title.
- Keep the introduction brief.
- Use the word “you” at least once.
- Dedicate 1-2 sentences to articulating what the article covers.
- Dedicate 1-2 sentences to explaining why the article is important.
What sentence catches the reader's attention? ›
The attention grabber, also known as a “hook”, is the first sentence that the reader will see, and its purpose is to grab the reader's attention. A few common attention grabbers are: - A short, meaningful quote that relates to your topic.What 4 main things should go in the introduction? ›
Set out the main idea of the essay. Outline how the essay title will be interpreted. Define important terms e.g. 'This essay will use Professor Bloggs's definition of X which states that…' Explain the methodology to be used in the essay and why it's being used.What are the four 4 relevant ideas to be included in the introduction? ›
Stating the intent of your study, Outlining the key characteristics of your study, Describing important results, and. Giving a brief overview of the structure of the paper.What are the 4 types of introduction? ›
There are four different ways of writing an introduction to an academic essay. These include; funnel, quotations, dramatic, and the turn-about form. A funnel introduction runs from background information to a more focused thesis. Quotation introductions use quotes to lead the reader to the thesis statement.Which should be the first sentence? ›
Answer. The topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph. It is introductory, meaning it should not include details, rather, it should introduce the main idea which will be supported by the rest of your paragraph.How do you start an introduction paragraph? ›
The introductory paragraph of any paper, long or short, should start with a sentence that piques the interest of your readers. In a typical essay, that first sentence leads into two or three more sentences that provide details about your subject or your process. All of these sentences build up to your thesis statement.How do I start my introduction? ›
It should begin by providing your reader a general understanding of the overall topic. The middle of the introduction should narrow down the topic so your reader understands the relevance of the topic and what you plan to accomplish in your paper.What do you say in a discussion post? ›
Explain why you agree or disagree, and offer your own supporting points and evidence. Build on what someone else has said Think: “Yes, AND…” or “Yes, BUT…” Again, make sure your post has the three parts mentioned earlier: Make a claim/Answer a question.What do you say in a discussion post reply? ›
There are three main ways to respond constructively to a post: “No, because...” • “Yes, and…” • “Yes, but...” If you disagree with someone's post, show that you appreciate that your classmate has an opinion, even if it's different from your own. Don't personally attack the writer, and avoid using emotional appeals.What is an example of a discussion sentence? ›
The class was involved in a heated discussion about politics. I hope to have a discussion with them about the matter soon.
How do you write an academic discussion post? ›
- Read the discussion prompt carefully. Pay special attention to: ...
- Prepare adequately. Before beginning your post, make sure you have read all of the required readings with a critical eye. ...
- Construct a draft. ...
- Review and revise. ...
Don't restate or list your results. The next several paragraphs should critically analyze the results. This means that you should explain what the finding means and why it is significant. Remember to consider alternative explanations to your findings, and not just those that prove your hypothesis.How do you introduce yourself in a discussion post? ›
Include: Your name and preferred pronouns. Your name will be visible on your post, but if there's something you prefer to be called, let others know.What makes a good discussion response? ›
Your response posts should never consist of just “I agree” or “Nice idea;” instead they should be thorough and thoughtful. Try adding something different or new to the conversation to keep the discussion going. Respond to posts that contradict or support your own ideas.How do you start a discussion question? ›
Start with Open-Ended Questions – these types of questions help begin a discussion because they encourage multiple viewpoints. They also tend to invite students to share their opinions, which can generate additional topics or define crucial issues.