Creating an Engaging Discussion Board Posts/Responses

Designing an Open Exchange of Idea in a Discussion Forum: 

The structure should include:

  • a title that is short, open ended, and contains the chosen subject matter
  • a stimulus to cause interaction between students and the subject
  • and a directive to guide the students through their assigned task

The designer should take the role of facilitator not director. Thus, when communicating in an online forum the designer should look for a stimulus that causes an intrinsic desire to respond. This could be accomplished by: 
  • Asking an open ended question
  • Selecting a picture, video, piece of music or an enticing text
  • Creating a venue for participants to play devil's advocate
  • Challenge participants to build a new version of an existing piece
The following is an example:
Respond to the following stimuli by identifying the key components used within Instructional Design to create an engaging learning experience.

Guidance for Writing a Post

Responses should be:
  • Orderly- concise and organizationally sound;
  • Balanced- reference to course content, new ideas, additional resources as well as questions or comments to continue the dialogue;
  • Show an evolution of ideas - quote another person’s post or part of the original stimulus to share your interpretation, provide additional information based on content provided in another person’s post, pose new learnings based on someone elses content;
  • Provoke an exchange of ideas of information- find information that is fascinating, enticing, mysterious, causes revelations or a ha moments;
  • Be iterative- causing a continuous cycle of learning.

When communicating in written form, it is important to remember that you are not engaging in a debate but a dialogue that is compelling, enticing and causes others to challenge their current knowledge and beliefs.

Ask yourself the following questions as you compose:

  1. Are you including multiple sides of a topic that will help create a common understanding instead of trying to prove another point of view is incorrect?
  2. Are you reading or viewing someone's post to understand and make meaning and not looking for flaws or create a counter argument?

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