Welcome back! Today’s blog prompt wants to discuss what type of interactions will take place in our course project. My partner, Nicole Brown and I are utilizing Canvas as our Learning Management System and within Canvas we will be focusing on the discussion board.
We are quite happy that Discussion Boards are a feature on Canvas, because, as the following article states, “discussion boards can serve a variety of purposes and can be used to meet a wide range of instructional objectives”.
The article also states that discussion boards can help create a community of learners, a community that is difficult to create if all answers are submitted only to the teacher.
A great feature of the Canvas discussion boards is the option to hide student responses until you have written your own answer. This should allow for a wider variety of responses and should spur further discussion, instead of students just copying what their friends may have written.
There is some trepidation that a discussion board can never truly match the type of discussion that can be had in a traditional classroom. Richard Schwier states that “technology facilitates virtual learning communities, but also may inhibit their growth”. As a solution, he offers that we must “employ technology that allows meaningful communication and is easy for participants to use”.
We believe that the Canvas discussion board is very accessible for students and can certainly allow meaningful communication. Furthermore, to the idea that a true discussion cannot be held in an online form, I believe the opposite.
Traditional classroom discussions are often dominated by a few students who feel most comfortable sharing with the class. The discussion board allows a voice to those students who may not feel comfortable sharing in class.
I look forward to the opportunity to use this course project with my high school students and to truly get a read on how effective the discussion board is. In the comments, I would love to hear about what types of interactions you are using for your project and what I can learn from all of my knowledgeable colleagues.