Using Student Generated Questions to Maintain Engagement and Momentum on Discussion Boards

Collection: 
Student-Generated Content
Author Information
Author(s): 
Lauren B. Lunsford, PhD
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Belmont University
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

As a means to facilitate deeper levels of conversation on the class discussion board, students were offered extra points to include thought provoking questions related to the thread topic. As a result conversations on that thread were much deeper as well as resulted in more posts between students. Further, students resulted much higher levels of satisfaction regarding discussion board participation. Whereas the initial discussion board responses were often replications of initial thoughts or posts, basic agreements or disagreements, the posts that students made after being prompted to include questions in their posts were much more controversial and resulted in a much higher level of engagement. Assignment responses under the control condition (no questions) were all merely what was required of the assignment - 1 initial post and 2 responses. Assignment responses after integrating student questions resulted in at least 3 responses by all participating students. Further, all students anecdotally and unprompted reported that including questions in discussion posts resulted in much more genuine and authentic conversations on the discussion boards.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

As part of discussion board practice, the instructor provides extra points (or an element of the discussion board rubric). By prompting the students to generate questions as part of their discussion board conversations this contributes to helping the student question the topic at hand, contribute to course's the Community of Practice, and provides opportunities of classroom leadership for the students to provide the source of conversation and discussion.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

s a result conversations on that thread were much deeper as well as resulted in more posts between students. Further, students resulted much higher levels of satisfaction regarding discussion board participation. Whereas the initial discussion board responses were often replications of initial thoughts or posts, basic agreements or disagreements, the posts that students made after being prompted to include questions in their posts were much more controversial and resulted in a much higher level of engagement. Assignment responses under the control condition (no questions) were all merely what was required of the assignment - 1 initial post and 2 responses. Assignment responses after integrating student questions resulted in at least 3 responses by all participating students. Further, all students anecdotally and unprompted reported that including questions in discussion posts resulted in much more genuine and authentic conversations on the discussion boards.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

This is especially related to Student Satisfaction and Learning Effectiveness as this practice was highly praised by students and resulted in higher levels of engagement within the discussion boards. This practice also relates to Faculty Satisfaction as the ongoing implementation of this practice contributes to discussion board conversations that require faculty to spend less time moderating and prompting discussion.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

None - the additional element of adding questioning to your Discussion Board Rubric is all that is needed.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

None.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Lauren Lunsford
Email this contact: 
lauren.lunsford@belmont.edu