- Teacher as the feedback provider
An online discussion forum basically imitates a discussion in the classroom: A question is asked by the teacher, students answer the question or make comments and the teacher provides feedback. At the same time, though, online discussion is another type of communication genre, which is characterized by being written, asynchronous, and saved in the system as opposed to oral, spontaneous, and passing/momentary discussions.
The teacher must prepare questions, options for answering and feedback texts and implement it in the quiz module online. A quiz question may be simple and, for example, focus on repetition of theory or it may require more reflection and ask students to respond to a mini-case. When setting up the quiz, the teacher must decide on the quantity and character of the feedback. Also, the teacher must decide whether students are able to attempt the quiz one time or multiple times.
You can set up one or multiple online discussion forums in Canvas, sort them into discussion groups, and ‘pin’ the most important ones. When you create a new discussion, you will need to write a starting entry where you specify the instructions for how the students should structure their reply – and what they need to discuss. After doing that, you will need to set the specific setting for each thread, such as anonymity, options for liking, set due dates, etc. You will then be able to copy one discussion thread to another course with the same settings.
The template for your discussion forum(s) can, alongside other online learning activities, be reused again and again, e.g. if you are teaching the same course. In Canvas, you will get a simple overview of your student’s responses, and it is easy to see who responded to whom – making it an efficient way of reading through the qualitative data from your discussion thread.
Online discussion forums are a great way for students to connect with their peers who have similar interests and exchange ideas and information. Some specific benefits of online discussion forums include convenience, accessibility, diversity of opinions, ability to learn from others, and enhancing a feeling of community.