I know, it is summer break and the last thing any educator wants to hear now is how to make online discussions richer. When you prepare for classes this fall, consider incorporating some of the ideas from Michael Gorman’s blog on Tech & Learning regarding richer online discussions.
Including a discussion component in either an online, blended, or face-to-face course allows the learner to analyze and comprehend the topic from various viewpoints. As the instructor, you are provided an opportunity to assess the learner’s comprehension and application of the knowledge. Integrating the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher-order thought by building up from lower-level cognitive skills is one means of creating more in depth conversations. Bloom’s original taxonomy focused only on the knowledge domain, but in 2001, Bloom’s was updated by Anderson and Krathwohl to include cognitive process. The new taxonomy highlights the interactions between the two domains.
Gorman’s 10 ideas follow the updated Bloom’s model. “It is important that teachers facilitate proper online communication while promoting digital citizenship. Through proper guidance and digital education, any classroom can discover the rich and meaningful opportunities that an online discussion can provide” (Gorman).
One of my favorites is the idea of the inclusion of various media in discussions. Discussions do not always have to be text-based. They can include the use of documents, PDF files, movies, music, sound files, PowerPoints, website links, and images to promote the standards and concepts. To discover the other 9 ideas, select the following link to read the article in its entirety: http://www.techlearning.com/Default.aspx?tabid=67&entryid=5809
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.