How do you craft a discussion question that elicits the level of thinking/learning that you want?
Well-defined discussion questions and their appropriate use not only help students understand content on a basic level but also can guide them in elaborative and critical thinking about content.
What NOT To Do
Watch this video to see what can go wrong in an online discussion!
Online discussions offer the following benefits:
- Builds class community.
- More productive synchronous discussions.
- Deeper and more reflective student responses.
- Improved participation and accountability since everyone has an opportunity to participate and be heard.
- An easily accessible record of the discussion thought processes.
- Time for more personal student contact.
- Provides an opportunity for you to exhibit your passion for the subject - providing the "Why do this?" to students.
Discussion Questions Purposes
Varied types of questions can help create the appropriate learning environment for your students. Questions can ask students to:
- Demonstrate knowlege of key concepts.
- Build community. Engage with each other.
- Reflect on an idea, concept, process, scenario, or even themselves.
- Build consensus. Create something or come to a mutual understanding.
- Debate an issue.
- Role play a persona or persona.