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4 methods to elevate Online Discussion Board


Online discussion boards are now the new normal platform for holding discussions. Many times students restrain themselves from becoming a part of an online discussion.

This is possible because no one wants to be part of a lame or boring discussion. As an intelligent instructor, you need to take specific essential steps to upgrade or improve the level of the online conversation so that no students feel bored, left out, or unsatisfied. Therefore, I present you with 4 top methods that will help you upgrade the level of the online discussion board.


We all know that the offline mode of teaching has changed to the online way due to the pandemic. When we talk about online education, specific points come to mind: how can we interact with the teachers or how do we clear our doubts or have a healthy group discussion online, and so on. So these are some obvious questions which have occurred in the minds of almost all the students.


There are specific online discussion boards for discussing any of the topics. It is a board on which the students can freely express their ideas, views, and expectations. It is open for all that means the entire group of students can communicate to have a healthy discussion. 


The teacher’s responsibility is to be a part of the online group discussion so that no queries remain unanswered. This board aims to clear all the doubts of the students in the best possible way. The teacher requires the right approach of the teacher to make the discussion more enjoyable and fruitful. The teacher must answer all the questions as politely as possible. The teacher’s tone should not be derogatory or insulting so that the student may not feel ashamed or hesitate to express their thoughts. 


All these points are pretty significant to keep in mind while having a group discussion virtually. This blog is about the top 4 tips that you can follow to upgrade or improve the online discussion board. So let us get started with this!

1. Answer each student.

Raising the voice-first in a group of several students requires a lot of courage. So before answering the queries, the teacher must acknowledge the student to express their views. This will create a sense of respect for the teachers and motivate the students to continue questioning in the future. Create a welcoming environment so that the students may feel comfortable. 


Then start by answering one by one to all. Try not to give the answers in a hurry. Provide an ample amount of time so that if the students didn’t get the answer at first, they could again question back. Please do not give the ultimate judgment to any question; provide students with a chance to express themselves. 


As a teacher, your attitude towards the students should not be rude with all due respect and a polite tone to answer the queries. 


Show enthusiasm while answering so the students may not find you and your answer boring. You have to make all the efforts because virtually you can’t have face-to-face interaction, but at least you can try your level best to remove this drawback and let the student feel satisfied on this platform only. 

2. Provide proper instructions and guidance throughout.

Getting engaged online so much is a new thing for all of us. For the students also, it is new to hold discussions or ask any doubts online. It might be possible that at the beginning of the session, virtually, the teacher receives the wrongly written form of a post. This is a common mistake that every student makes because all this was not done in the offline mode of teaching. So avoiding such instances at the beginning of the session, only organize a webinar or conduct a meeting where all the instructions regarding all these things can be given. 


Please send the guideline via email or message to review it before raising any query. In the instructions, tell them what to include, how many words the post should be, and the correct writing format. It would be best to make them understand that this is how the queries need to be written. Then only the students will work accordingly; otherwise, there will be a lot of mess if all these instructions are not provided at the right time. To make them understand better, provide them with a few written examples. It will save a lot of time in the future for both the teacher and the students and will give rise to a fruitful discussion. 

3. Encourage interactions among the students.

It is equally essential that the students interact with each other as well. Interaction with the teacher is good, but a healthy discussion among students is worth it. The teacher can play a significant role in this by assigning duties to each student. If one question is raised in the discussion board, let the co-students answer it first. Give specific deadlines that, after this time, the answers need to be presented in front of all. In this way, the students will search and learn new things and also get a chance to express themselves.


Active participation of all the students in the online discussion is vital. As many a time, few students don’t participate in any of the activities and get distracted from their studies. In this way, the students will feel more responsible and will be able to focus more on their studies.

4. Division in smaller groups.

If the groups of students are small, the teacher can easily focus on the individual student, and the students will also feel comfortable. If the group is small, then the students are more involved in all kinds of discussions and other activities—less chance of being left out and thus more concentration on studies. 


Secondly, as the group is small, a critical analysis of each of the topics can take place—more attention on each discussion and more chances for an individual to express. A detailed and focused discussion of all queries can take place, so eventually, the students can take a lot of advantage from it. Critical analysis leads to developing the thinking power and other related skills in a student. In a small group, the students can also challenge each other in the discussion, which will lead to valuable learning.


The tips listed above are some of the best suggestions that will upgrade the level of the online discussion board and increase the engagement of the virtual class. A productive and interacting discussion board is all students want for better understanding and learning. 


Photo by Thirdman from Pexels.

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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