10 Best Practices Online Discussion Forum for Students

Most of the learning institutions, including colleges and universities, remain closed due to the novel Coronavirus. As a result, education takes another turn with students learning via online discussion boards. Therefore, you ought to prepare with the best practices online discussion forum for students. Keep in mind that all you need as a learner is good grades.

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Here is an ultimate guide on the best practices online discussion forum for students. It generally covers what makes a good online discussion. Moreover, you’ll learn how to improve your online forum and engage students to increase their participation in online classes. The lead also wraps the benefits and power of online studies for learners.

Six Essential Steps for Starting an Online Discussion Forum

One of the best practices online discussion forum for students is to use dialogue boards in different ways, depending on the setting. For instance, you can exercise maximum control over the forum, create threads, moderates and grade posts. Below are the necessary steps you need to create a persuasive forum.

  • Go to your main discussion board page, usually on the Action Bar and click create a forum.
  • While on the create forum page, insert a name. Do not leave out this step as users use the title to access your forum.
  • The next thing is to type descriptions or guidelines in the description text box. Besides, you can format your text using the text editor functions. After completing this step, the report should appear just below the name you gave your discussion panel.
  • Now you can set the forum availability. Under this, opt for the Yes choice.
  • Decide on the forum settings. Here, you choose whether to allow file attachments, anonymous mails, subscriptions, and member rating on a post. You can also decide whether to grade the available discussion responses.

Once you enable the grading, you’ll create a grade center entry. Similarly, you have to select the grade discussion option and insert a point value. In this way, you can evaluate the student’s review all through the session. Select the Grade Thread choice to assess learning concert in each thread you select.

  • Now you can submit. Remember to create your forums as early as possible and set the availability to No until it’s time to start the debate.

What Makes A Good Online Discussion?

Generally, online discussion panel’s help students learn dialogue skills, prepare for their classes, practice top writing skills and interact with others. To succeed in this field, you need to translate your face to face discussion skills into an online context. Moreover, you have to consider best practices online forum for students. Here are a few tips that make an excellent online forum.

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Detailed Opinion

After completing your entire course reading, and you are ready to chip in the discussion, focus on the thesis. Think about how to support it, read other students posts and see how they contradict or support your view. Moreover, you can look for postings that don’t have enough evidence and search for some.

Besides, you can turn your case or ideas into queries. Keep in mind that the opinions you give aren’t arguments. Ensure you back up your point of view with references related to course material or even outside sources.

Adequate Preparation

Here is another of best practices online discussion forum for students. Sure, there is no way you will efficiently contribute to a discussion forum not unless you’re well prepared. Some of the best practices online forum for student’s evolution includes completing the assigned tutorials or readings and attending lectures. If you get stuck, reach out for help maybe from your instructor or an expert. Indeed, this will help you understand the topic hence improving your morale and interaction.

Furthermore, you can prepare by writing a draft. It will help you attain a particular outline or structure. For example, print your response in a text editor before you submit. You will stand a chance to do necessary changes, making your post complete, coherent and cohesive.

Includes Keywords in the Title

Online forums can yield different messages depending on the reader. Therefore, you need to think of the best practices online discussion forum for students to build your contributions. Your argument title should indicate what you’re going to discuss. Sure, this will help classmates to understand your posting. For instance, you can even give a summary of your opinion, question or argument.

Encourages Discussion

The main objective of best practices online discussion forum for students is to promote discussion. In other words, an excellent forum should influence the conversation. You can inspire your classmates by making bold statements or including open-ended queries in your post. Always remember to get back after submission and check how other students responded to your opinion.

Change of Stance

Well, this is one of the best approaches to institute a moving online discussion. You don’t have to side with classmates on a particular issue. Sure, feel free to adjust your mind. It is allowed since learning is all about the change. Simply point out your move of attitude with the new postings in the discussion. Besides, this will extend the debate.

Purposeful, Short, and Clear Postings

In general, short and clear posts are easy to read as well as respond. So you need to make sure your paragraphs are purposeful and not long. Moreover, you can decide to discuss only one main idea in each posting and do not forget to support it with evidence or examples.

Ten Best Practices to Improve Your Online Discussion

Consider the Students Learning Goals

Before you chose to use the debate to teach your students, it is very crucial to think through the set learning objectives. In other words, you should be confident of why the forum is the best approach to attain your student’s learning goals.

Come Up With a Grading Plan

Right from the start, be clear with students on how and whether you will convert their participation onto grades. Sure, providing your students with a grading plan is an extra credit option to motivate or boost forum contributions. However, grading a forum takes a lot of your time, and it can be confusing if you’re not skilled.

Make sure you choose the grading strategy as early as possible. Moreover, it should clear to the students and realistic to you as the instructor. Decide on whether you will grade their participation according to the quality or quantity of their posts. Devise a plan that can locate each student’s opinion within the forum in the shortest time possible.

Build-In Inspiration

Well, setting a discussion board isn’t enough to get the debate moving. You can consider making students engagement a part of the course grade. Moreover, you can devise an alternative approach to motivate your students to participate.

For instance, set a forum as a way to prepare learners for an exam or assignment. Sure, this will motivate students to participate even if the forum won’t count as part of their grades.

Give Explicit Instructions

Don’t only tell your students to discuss coursework on the forum. Instead, assign specific tasks and provide detailed instructions. After all, you do not want your discussion forum to fall flat just because you didn’t outlay your expectations in the first place.

Enlighten the Students on the Learning Goals

Not all students understand the aim of online discussion panels. Therefore, you should communicate with your students, especially about the set learning goals. Tell them what they will accomplish by engaging and the reason why the forum is the best approach. Besides, this motivates them, therefore, creating a lively discussion.

Practices Online Discussion Forum for Students

Provide a Forum That Slips In Reciprocation

For your discussion to be fruitful, you must build-in effective interaction between the students. Of course, you don’t want the forum to fall flat just because your students cannot link freely with others. Enlighten them on different approaches to respond or comment on one another’s post.

Connect Your Forum to the Classroom

Make sure the forum you create links up with the work the students did in class. Indeed, this will encourage them to engage freely as they already understand the course reading. For better results, read the forum before the classroom and bring in some of the suitable comments.

Create Technology Awareness

Since you will be contacting your discussion online, teach your students how to use the technology. Do not think they all know how to operate the platform you’re using. For instance, you can do an illustration in class or hand out guidelines on how to navigate threads, forums and post. To avoid confusion, tell your students to use similar posting methods. Moreover, you can give suggestions on how to title their posts and comments.

Ask Probing Questions

If you need maximum student assurance in your discussion panel, open up your questioning style. In other words, you have to ask the right questions to keep the debate going. For instance, you can give multi-layered, complex problems and situations that don’t end with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Make the students mull over their ideas and relate the learning approach to real life.

Set Limits

If you need your discussion forum to improve, focus on how to manage time. Ensure the students can cope with the set deadlines and provide quality response or posts at the same time. For example, you can schedule your discussion sessions for the whole semester. In this way, students can easily include the debate days in their timetable.

Tips for Engaging Students in Online Discussion

As stated earlier, a great forum should involve students, ensuring maximum participation. Besides, this is a key aspect if you want your class to achieve higher grades. Below are some of the best practices online discussion forums for student’s cooperation.

Participate Fully

If you need to boost engagement in online discussion boards, make sure you are present. Go further and reply to each student’s introduction. Furthermore, you can post your opening remarks and do not forget to state both professional and personal backgrounds. Keep in mind that the students will reflect on them. You can also make a precise follow up on all questions, either in public or personal.

Challenge the Students

Generally, questions are the key propeller of any online discussion forum. So take the chance and ask. Besides, you have to encourage your students to go deep in research, improving their critical thinking ability. In this way, they learn more about the main argument outside the course reading.

Provide Better Prompts

As the instructor, you should provide your students with the best prompts for them to tackle the assigned tasks. Moreover, you can give a prompt that calls for higher thinking capacity. For example, create one that involves application, evaluation, inferences, predictions, solving, comparisons and analysis.

Re-Frame Your Question

If some of your students get holdup in the discussion, re-state the subject in different wording. Sure, this can help the participants understand the forum better. In case you don’t see any improvements, re-frame your question totally or ask for the student’s opinion on the same.

Watch Out Your Tone

Similarly, make sure you watch your online language and tone. Some of the students may end up being shy or nervous to respond if you come into dialogue with a bad attitude. Moreover, avoid excess use of exclamation marks and uppercase. But you can sparingly utilize symbols and emoticons to add value to the discussion. Still, incorporate images, humor and frame your comments as well as posts for students to understand you better.

Respond In Different Approaches

Well, here is another valuable means to increase student’s engagement in an online discussion board. Don’t just use the same method to respond. Instead, reply with a question, affirm or give feedback. Think of it as a way to appreciate their participation, allowing you to identify vulnerable students. Ensure you emphasize the good points and rectify where possible to encourage students to stay engaged and post often.

Add Value to the Discussion

Since you want your online course to stand out the competition, consider the media when illustrating a point to inject humor and prolong the conversation. For instance, you can attach images, photos, tweets, videos and links. If you are adding a personal video, maintain eye contact for efficiency. After, all you want the students to recognize your presence.

Consider Everyone

As a lecturer, you want all your students to succeed in their studies. Meaning you’ll have to read through all the posts to correct where possible. However, you don’t have to reply to all postings as it may affect the discussion quality. Give enough space for the students to interact with each other.

Divide Your Class into Small Groups

Some of the students tend to grow lazy, hiding in big crowds. Therefore, you should exercise divide and conquer to avoid such behavior. The quiet individuals in your discussion board will fade if you separate the class into smaller, manageable groups, increasing their engagement.

Practices Online Discussion Forum for Students

Use a Rubric

Before you start any discussion forum, confer with the students about the qualities of a right panel. You can achieve this by the use of a rubric. Determine whether everyone is asking questions, supporting their opinions with evidence or building on other people’s views. Remember, the structure is a key aspect, as it promotes practical critical thinking.

Raise the Stakes

One of the best approaches to raise the stakes is to ask the student’s rate each other’s posting. Besides, it helps them keep focus since classmates will weigh up their views. You can also elevate the stakes by minimizing the number of students to participate in every discussion panel. Sure, this one of the best practices online discussion forum for students as it creates a chance for everyone to engage.

The Benefits of an Online Discussion Forum

In general, online discussion forum builds students experience to react to opinions, clarify theories, teach each other, and share challenges. Here are more benefits associated with online learning panels.

  • Discussion board extends classroom learning via online education
  • It boosts critical thinking ability. Online discussion provides open-ended questions. Therefore, students can interact freely.
  • Besides, it individualizes leaning because the assigned topics are unlimited in terms of length and time.
  • Students can easily find an expert resource, boosting their experience.
  • Scholars enjoy and experience expertise communication channel.
  • It promotes fellowship between the students and the lecturer in an online setting.
  • Students have more time to formulate their opinions and responses. In other words, learners have the option to reply when they are ready. Sure, this results in quality post and comments.
  • Moreover, a discussion forum presents the opportunity for students to practice more, polishing up their debating skills.
  • It also provides an opening for students who struggle with low self-esteem or the unmotivated to take part in a one-on-one discussion.
  • Likewise, discussion forum increases interaction between students. For instance, a standard length class isn’t enough for scholars to interact. Meaning the lecturer must provide meaningful and inspiring learning via discussion forums to maximize teamwork.
  • Online learning forum provides students with the freedom to reflect on their opinions, read and respond to classmates views. Besides, they can freely discuss their arguments with friends, colleagues or any close person before submission.


At this point, you have a clear view of the best practices online discussion forum for students and the benefits of discussion panels. In case you face some challenges in this field, don’t give up. Instead, you can reach out to My Homework Writers – the best online essay help service. Likewise, you can also visit myhomeworkwriters.com for more information and help on discussion board posting.

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