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Tip Sheet: Designing Dynamic Discussion Boards

Submitted by on July 16, 2014 – 12:44 pmNo Comment

Brought to you by the Academic Services team, check out our Designing Dynamic Discussion Boards Tip Sheet. On the tip sheet, we discuss keys to designing and managing discussions, types of prompts, explain A Taxonomy of Reflection, and provide additional resources.

Click here for the new and improved Tip Sheet for Designing Dynamic Discussion Boards.

Keys to Designing & Managing Discussions

  1. Provide specific expectations, use a grading rubric, & provide examples of exemplary, acceptable, & not acceptable posts.
  2. Establish deadlines to initiate, and maintain discussion;
    1. Initial student post should be due in the middle of the week – (e.g. Wednesday by 11:59 PM)
    2. Responses to peers’ posts should be due by the end of the week – (e.g. respond to 2 peers’ posts by Saturday by 11:59 PM)

Types of Prompts

Summary and Reflection (Understanding, Analyzing)

• Mini Assignment

Socratic Method (Evaluating)

Case Study (Analyzing/Evaluating)

• Scenario (Applying/Analyzing)

• Debate (Evaluating/Creating)

• Collaborative Project (Creating)

Aim to include prompts that achieve each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy

• Discussion Board prompts should directly align to instructional content and Student Learning Objectives.

• Collectively, prompts should engage the three relationships of engagement – Student-Content, Student-Student, and Student-Teacher.

• Essential Quality Matters and The Online Learning Consortium (formerly The Sloan Consortium) Quality Scorecard:

• QM 1.8 – Students are asked to introduce themselves to the class.

• QM 5.2 – Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.

• QM 5.4 – The requirements for student interaction are clearly articulated.

• OLC QS – Opportunities/tools are provided to encourage student-student collaboration (i.e. web conferencing, instant messaging, etc.) if appropriate.

• OLC QS – Faculty-to-Student interaction is facilitated through a variety of ways

A Taxonomy of Reflection
Taxonomy of Reflection Explained
Retrieved from:


Resources (located on the Faculty eCommons):

Ed Tech du Jour: Building Community in an Online Course

9 Strategies to Ensure Successful Course Discussions

Additional Faculty eCommons Discussion Board Tips

Do’s and Don’ts – A Handout for Students

More Great Discussion Board Tips

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