Computer Lab Lessons

 Online Discussion


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What is an online discussion?

An online discussion is an open forum that allows students to post and view written responses to a designated topic.  These posts will be available throughout the duration of the semester so students can refer back to them to generate ideas for papers, review previously-covered material, or use them as a resource/reference for current discussion.

What is the purpose of using online discussions?

  • Become more familiar with using the computer for communication
  • Provide an alternative format for class discussion
  • Create an equal platform for class participation
  • Fulfill the course goals of developing critical reading and technological literacy skills

How do I access the online discussion forum?

  1. Click here.

  2. Select your instructor from the list.

  3. You will be automatically redirected to a login screen.

  4. Enter your login and password.

  5. You will be redirected to your class discussion forum.







Important Guidelines for the Discussion Forum

  • Avoid vulgarity or other inappropriate language as this forum is a world-wide representation of our class that anyone can read!
  • While principled disagreement is encouraged, do not personally  attack authors of posts
  • Stay on task- online discussion should not be used for discussion unrelated to class readings/topics
  • Be as concise and to-the-point as possible
  • Because of the difference in format, comments online can appear differently than they would in a verbal discussion, and although written with the best intentions, some online comments can be misconstrued as hostile. Such comments will be dealt with appropriately.
  • All are required to participate in the discussion on some level. Participation will be noted by the instructor, so use your real name!
  • Be tolerant of classmates lack of discourse-specific knowledge of and about computers.

Using the Discussion Forum

Instructors will divide the class into five groups, and assign each group a number from one to five. Each group's number will correspond to the number of the discussion forum to which they will be posting.

Discussion Forum Exercise

At this point, you should be learning how to write a synthesis essay. In your groups, discuss the main points from Plato/Freire. Respond to one other person in your group, addressing points you'd like clarified or those that seem off target. Remember, the object here is to compile a list of main points in preparation for synthesizing Plato and Freire in class.

Discussion Forum Questions

  1. What are some of the differences between classroom discussions and those that take place online?
  2. What are the advantages of online discussions? What are the disadvantages?

2005  Northern Arizona University Writing Program