Tag Archives: discussion and facilitation

Maryellen Weimer, PhD: Classroom Discussions: How to Apply the Right Amount of Structure

How does one prepare for these unstructured structured discussions? Maybe it starts with having a general sense of discussion possibilities, identifying some of the priorities, but being open to unexpected outcomes. What actions does this general orientation entail? Most of us launch discussions with questions, but we also head into the discussion having good answers to those questions.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

Dr. Weimer always provides insight wrapped around practical suggestions. This piece on the structure of discussions (both online and face to face) is spot on. 

What To Do When Online Discussion Dies – eLearning Industry

Ever had a discussion forum or social chat fall silent? Students that are deeply engaged in forums and chat have a more enjoyable experience and are more likely to complete their course successfully. Here’s how you can reignite engagement when online discussion dies.

Source: elearningindustry.com

Tips for students and for instructors on what to do when a discussion runs out of gas. 

Effective Discussion Prompts for Online Discussion Boards

Published on Jun 7, 2015
The video explains why it is important to ask right, open-ended questions. It will give you overview for ineffective and effective question for online discussion boards, and some ideas of alternatives to the question-and-answer format.

Source: www.youtube.com

Learning to facilitate online discussion requires practice and a first foundation in the best practices described in this video. 

Common Sense Media Review: Flipgrid

Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create grids of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos. You can create up to four grids with a Flipgrid account. Grids can be classes, sections, groups of students, research groups, faculty groups, or any collection of users interested in a common strand of questions. Each grid can hold an unlimited number of questions, and each question can hold an unlimited number of responses. Questions are short, text-based prompts (think Twitter) that can include basic formatting (such as bold, italic) and links to websites or documents.

Source: www.commonsense.org

I’ve always been an early adopter of teaching technologies.  This one is tempting indeed. This review looks at Flipgrid for use in Grades 6-12.    I can see it working at a graduate level. 


To risk a cliche: “The proof is in the pudding…”   You won’t really know unless you try it.

Steve Snyder: A Practical Approach for Increasing Students’ In-Class Questions

Steve Snyder:


I usually offer a few parameters as well:

  • Avoid yes/no questions.
  • Be specific in terms of ideas and passages (i.e., specify page numbers).
  • Ask about the areas or ideas you struggled with and/or those that really aroused your curiosity.

The latter point is key. The best questions usually arise from a sincere questioner.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

Thanks to Steve Snyder for this Faculty Focus article on how to develop students’ questioning skills.  This applies to both traditional classroom instruction and to discussion forum participation in online classes.

5 Ways to Ace Discussion Board Assignments in an Online Class

When online discussion boards come together well, students can actually learn more from them than from other parts of class, instructors say. But getting the most out of a discussion board – and earning the high marks to show for it – isn’t easy. 

Below, experts share tips for how to ace the discussion board component of online class.

Source: www.usnews.com

Discussion forums are essential for an online learning community. Great tips shared here!

The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies

How to use open-ended, close-ended, and a double question technique to inspire deeper thinking in your students.

Source: www.edutopia.org

Here’s a bit of online facilitation wisdom: “The Two-Question Rule: This means to follow a question with another question that probes for deeper understanding.”

Author/Blogger Professor Maurice Elias does a fine job of explaining how questioning helps deepen thinking.