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Designing Online Discussion Activities

ODL has collected and created a number of resources to help you design effective online discussions, a critical part of the contact-hour replacement when a course moves to the online environment. Use these resources as you collaborate with your ODL course design consultant.

Eight Ways to Get Students More Engaged in Online Conferencing
Dr. William Klemm from Texas A&M University recommends following these eight guidelines to create a strong collaborative learning environment in your course discussion board. These methods increase both the quality and quantity of student participation.

Inquiry Questions Worksheet
A handy resource that helps you design questions that access and stimulate different levels of student learning.

Tips for Leading Discussions
Although initially designed for a classroom context, this page contains a number of suggestions that are equally valid online.

Sample Questions
Model questions that can be adapted to many purposes.

Discussion Board Worksheet
Planning tool to guide you in setting up your discussion forums.

Discussion Principles for Students
A sample guideline for students that sets the tone and expectations for online discussions.

Rubric Template for Evaluating Discussion Board Posts
Can be used to develop a detailed grading rubric for discussion board posts.