Online Discussions

3 A Conversation about Online Discussions

3-modesA Observe and Consider

Now that we’ve all had an opportunity to consider some of the fundamentals of quality online discussions, we want to share with you one experienced UW-Madison faculty member’s take on online discussions.

We spoke with Professor Julie Allen from the UW-Madison Department of Scandinavian Studies about her experiences using online discussions in her courses. Listen as Julie highlights her goals, strategies, challenges, and instructional approach to using online discussions in her undergraduate and graduate Scandinavian literature courses. While you’re listening, consider what your instructional approach is (or might be) to online discussions and how it is different or similar to Julie’s.

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3-modesA Observe & Consider

Julie shared many pertinent elements that are involved in creating and managing a good online discussion for a course, as well as some challenges that she faced and strategies for how she modified her approach in light of these challenges. Jonathan, David, Theresa, and Chad share their reactions to the discussion with Julie and their related thoughts on online discussions:

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Now share any ideas, experiences, revelations, or resources that come to mind after listening to Julie’s interview and the post-interview podcast. Choose one or both of the activities below to begin processing and reflecting on your own experiences and resources for online discussions.

3-modesB Connect and Share

Activity 1: Resource sharing

Share an article, link, video, or other online resource that speaks to a pedagogical issue relevant to online discussions in your context. Explain this resource’s relevance to your approach to online discussions (or inversely, how it differs from your approach). When finished we’ll have an archive of resources that is customized for us!
Activity 1 (on WikiSpaces)

Activity 2: Write down your online discussion experiences

Record an experience you’ve had with online discussions in which you participated as a student or facilitated as an instructor. How did it support your pedagogy or directly support the learning goals for your class? If you haven’t participated in an online discussion, list a few pedagogical challenges of your own that could be addressed with an online discussion. Finally, if you listened to the podcast with Julie Allen, write down your reactions, comments or thoughts as they relate to your own teaching.

Media Attributions

  • 3-modesB
  • 3-modesC


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Teaching with Technology Copyright © 2015 by Steel Wagstaff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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