Online Discussion

Tips for using Canvas effectively

Why online discussions?

  • All students have their VOICES heard.
  • Students get CHOICES in how they show what they know.
  • Allows students thinking and revising TIME.
  • Gets more DEEP "substantive" conversations.
  • Allows the CONVERSATIONS to occur before, during, and after class.

Tips for Doing it Well

  • Choose an ARTICLE or VIDEO that has substance related to your concept and learning targets for the day
  • Create a discussion (THREADED, graded)
  • NAME it something intriguing (not just "Discussion #1) and add engaging GRAPHICS
  • Create LAYERS of questions. Questions must be open-ended, THICK (good for discussion) and leveled.
  • Structure it so that students must go BEYOND comprehension in order to engage in the discussion
  • Set your expectation for length of initial post, quantity of sentences, quantity of responses, quality of ideas or communication, etc. Emphasize substance over superficial
  • (If the video is long and you are expecting a lot of communication, have an "empty" station after this one in order for them to read/view at one and apply at another.)
  • You can leave the discussion open to EVERYONE (in all sections) or create smaller GROUPS so that they only chat with the people they go to the stations with.
  • Add a RUBRIC so that you can easily grade (using speed grader) and set clear expectations for their discussion.