D2L Discussion Facilitation
Discussions play a significant role in effective online courses. Their very nature allows for reflection, critical thinking and community building. A Facilitator serves as a guide, who makes his/her presence felt but doesn’t dominate the discussion. He/she enters discussions when asked a question directed specifically to him/her and redirects only when information is incorrect, or off-topic. An effective Facilitator allows time for students to respond to each other, before commenting, and promotes critical thinking by employing effective questioning techniques to deepen the conversation. The following is a sample of a discussion thread I facilitated. Students were required to read a scholarly article about the “Myths & Constraints of Online Teaching,” post a response to the discussion prompt, and reply to at least three of their classmates utilizing best practices delineated in the discussion rubric.