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Online discussions or forums are considered a powerful teaching tool. When participating in online discussions, students have an opportunity to debate the course material, and, as a result, fully understand it. Each participant of the forum presents their own discussion board post written on one of the topics studied during classes. Producing texts for online discussions gives students a chance to share their opinion about a particular phenomenon and find out what their classmates think about it.
Student discussion forums perform several functions:
- Online dialogues encourage students to talk about tricky subjects.
- Being engaged in an online conversation, students can discuss some aspects of their homework with each other.
- The participants of an online thread board learn to formulate and develop theoretical concepts and put them into practice.
- When holding an online discussion, one can discover more about specific terminology used within a particular academic field.
- Writing entries for online forums is a good way of getting extra points that can be then added to your grade in the whole course. Thus, do not lose such a wonderful opportunity! Do hold dialogues with your classmates! Besides, online forums are usually very appealing.
In order to write a solid discussion board post, it is necessary to carefully examine the given guidelines. Ensure that you fully comprehend the following points:
- The aim of the entry: What prompts are you required developing?
- Peculiarities: How many words should your post consist of?
- Background: Is it necessary to refer to any sources when creating your text? Is it required to include information about your personal experience in your piece of writing?
- Format: What citation style do you need to compose your post in? How many sources do you have to use when preparing your work?
Keep in mind that following professor’s directions is of cardinal importance.
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Detailed Recommendations for Writing Posts
- Create exclusive pieces of writing. Avoid repeating the same data in your responses. Try to provide new facts in each your comment. It is not worth rehashing the statements presented by your classmates. You need to put forward innovative ideas for the subsequent dialogues. In order to make an online board to write on attractive, try to interpret the discussed phenomena in a new and unusual way. Remember that you can have your own opinion on the matter. However, if it is opposing to that of everyone else, you should uphold it with valid arguments.
- Compose succinct posts. Your entries have to be clear and coherent. Additionally, none of your texts should contain grammar or spelling mistakes. Therefore, before publishing your texts, proofread them carefully.
- Write reasonable texts. Do not forget that all your ideas or suggestions have to be based on facts. One-word answers to classmates’ posts will not bring you a high grade. Moreover, remember to respond to the questions in a respectful manner especially if you do not consider somebody’s answer right.
Responding to the Forum Questions
In order to understand how to start a discussion or answer the questions given by your lecturer, you should pay attention to a few significant points. First, determine whether the question relates to the course material. Thus, you will know what ideas and theories you may refer to in your answer. Second, arrange your entry appropriately. Present your viewpoint, explain why you have such an attitude towards the analyzed subject, and ask your classmates some questions. Third, be specific. Ensure that your post includes reliable data only. Fourth, be grateful. When somebody comments on your post or points out the mistakes you have made, you should thank them for the time spent on your entry.
How to Compose Discussion Questions
When commenting on the forum entries, you may end your comments with a question. However, remember that your will see your classmates during classes. That is why you have to follow particular rules in order not to offend your classmates with your questions. Have a look at the points given below:
- Answer the classmates’ questions in a polite manner and stick to the formal style of writing even if your interlocutor is your best friend sitting next to you. In this case, your will be able to make objective comments on the posts.
- Contribute to the online discussion board for students you are participating in. Your contribution will keep the dialogue going.
- Do not present all the data which you find on the web on the discussion forum. Your posts as well as comments on the entries created by your classmates should include information that is relevant to the course you are taking.