Online Discussion Boards
Preparing students for success
Model what you want
Engage with the class at various points during the timeframe you’ve set forth. Don’t feel you need to sit by your computer and reply to each post, but you certainly can participate regularly and with a broad cross section of the students as you would in the classroom.
When it’s time to change topics, make sure there is something tying together the threads of the discussion. You don’t need to do the summary! One way to actively engage students in the discussion is to rotate turns summarizing or synthesizing it.
Show and require respect
Even though you are not physically present with students, you should model a respectful discussion environment. Likewise, you should make a point to intervene in any behaviors that are disrespectful, just as you would in person.
Discussion in the classroom is one way for students to connect with each other. As students navigate discussion from a distance, allow them room to go off-topic or to ask questions about non-content things. Many faculty will create a lounge space within their Blackboard discussions so that students can post those types of messages that are less on-topic.