How to Respond to a Discussion Post

It is important to understand how to respond to a discussion post so that an online discussion is meaningful to all the participants.

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Online discussions are an integral part of online classes. Not only are online discussions testable, but also instructors can assess the learning level in their students by the quality of online discussions. It therefore makes sense for students to understand what it takes to hold an online discussion. First, every student will need to make a discussion post on the discussion board. The discussion post is the understanding of the student on the subject topic. With multiple discussion posts on the discussion board, students need to know how to respond to a discussion post to make a meaningful conversation.

Like discussion posts, students should be mindful of the discussion post responses they put up on the discussion board. Below is a detailed guide on how to write discussion posts and how to respond to discussion posts:

how to respond to a discussion post

How to respond to a discussion post

When undertaking an online class, the discussion board is the main platform of interaction between students and the instructor. That implies that there is no doubt you will write multiple discussion posts. The instructor can assess your understanding of the course by judging the discussion post. Here are ways that you can use to create effective discussion posts that will draw forth your thoughtful responses.

Complete the homework

Before writing your discussion post, first complete the assigned reading assignment. When reading, try to get the connection between real-life and the text you are reading. In doing so, you will be preparing yourself to present a great response. Also, read through feedback on previous assignments from the instructor to ensure you meet the assignments expectations.

Read and understand the prompts

You should deduce the following from the discussion prompt; the purpose, assignment details, type of response, formatting requirements, and expectations. The purpose of the assignment refers to the question that you need to give your feedback on. When is the assignment due? Which sources should you refer to? Also, you need to know the kind of response that the instructor requires from you. Lastly, your answer should follow a specific format style and should meet the assessment expectations.

how to respond to a discussion post

Create a strong argument

You need to come up with a strong discussion argument. Your statements will only be valid if you have sufficient evidence to support your argument. That will require you to conduct thorough research. Remember you need to cite your discussion post, so keep track of the material that you get your argument from. When expressing your idea, be articulate and concise. Your argument should cause other students to think critically and beyond the normal scope.

Be relevant

Your discussion post should be unique. Therefore, ensure that you include professional and personal experience to support your argument. Application of real-world scenarios increases the value of your discussion post. The experiences you want to include are those that have a connection with the concepts you have learned in class. Your discussion responses should be have substantive response examples. Substantive responses refer to discussion responses that relate to the course material. Substantive discussion posts are based on the assigned reading course content and not mere opinion.

Think outside the box

This will require you to think critically to come up with an idea that will cause the students to respond to your thoughts. Your post should be unique to the discussion post. Look for connections with the idea that would implore your classmates to think hard.

how to respond to a discussion post

Prepare your discussion post before

It is a good idea to edit your post in a text editor before pasting your post on the discussion board. That will give you the allowance to correct any mistakes with your post. The mistakes could range from spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and incorrect flow of ideas. The post should be correct in terms of grammar flow and vocabulary like any other academic piece.

Create suspense

The greatest discussion posts are those that linger in the mind of discussion participants way later after the discussion is over. You want your discussion post to do that to your fellow students. Therefore, put enough thought into what you want to post. Your discussion post should add significant value to the online discussion.

How should you write in your first post?

An initial discussion post refers to the first discussion response to a prompt by an instructor. Your post can introduce an idea for other students to follow up on. However, ensure that you answer the discussion question first. When making your introduction discussion post, you can take the following approaches:

Answering a question

Give your answer to the question in the discussion prompt. The answer should be brief and clear.

Provide evidence

Here, you need to explain your point of view to the reader. Attach evidence from your class notes, textbooks, and e-books to support your point.

Show the connection

You should show the connection between your answer and the evidence you provide. Just because you see the connection between the two, it is not obvious to the other participants.

How to respond to a discussion post on Blackboard

Once you learn what it takes to write a strong discussion post, it is no doubt that the other students will do the same. However, different discussion posts on a discussion board do not make a discussion successful. Students need to respond to each other’s response. Only then, will it be clear that there is a discussion. The discussion thread continues to grow as students respond to both initial and subsequent discussion posts. As the number of posts continue to increase, students can filter, collect, tag and sort posts. Like posts, responses need to adhere to certain things so they can result in a fruitful discussion.

how to respond to a discussion post

How to reply to a discussion post

On Blackboard, there are multiple threads for an online discussion. Every thread is unique for a discussion topic. Students can reply to published threads and not the hidden or locked threads. Students should learn how to reply to a forum post.

Here are the steps to post a reply to a thread.

  • Access the thread you want to reply to in an online discussion forum.
  • Look for the discussion post’s text and information on the page of the thread. The information you could be looking for include: the date of posting and author. Every reply to a discussion post appears on the same page.
  • Look for the post options such as edit, delete, quote, reply, and email author. The opportunity to quote your post is part of your response to the post. You should choose the reply option. You can select the unread option to enable you to view only the unread discussion posts on the page.
  • The page will expand to the entire discussion post you want to respond to. You will view the post at this point and access the text editor.
  • Type your reply in the text editor. You may include a subject and or attach a valid file.
  • Browse through your computer to attach the file that you want to attach. You can as well upload a file from the content collection or the course files.
  • You can then save the draft or click “submit” to publish your discussion post response.

The reply appears at the bottom of the list. If you attached an image or text file to your response, you will see an image or paper clip icon next to the response to show that there is a file attachment.

Rating posts

Peer review is one of the capabilities of a discussion board. Besides starting a thread and including a discussion post, students can review and reply to other student’s work. The student reviewing a discussion post rates the discussion post and include comments in their response. Rating posts is helpful as students then focus on posting helpful and relevant information in the discussion post. You need to enable discussion participants to rate your discussion post. The option is in the forum settings of the discussion board.

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Responding to an online discussion

You can respond to a discussion post in two ways:

From the activity stream

You can follow up on a discussion from your mobile phone or any digital device. Reviewing and responding to discussion posts is possible from the activity stream. The activity stream gives you access to new content in Blackboard Learn. When you want to participate in a discussion, choose a discussion, and a layer will open up where you can type your response. Any new response or reply to the discussion is highlighted to make it easy for you to see the changes in the discussion board. Close the layer for you to get back to the activity stream.

Within a course

In an online course, you can access an online course from the discussions page or content page. The discussion page displays all the discussions in the course. Choose a particular discussion and be part of. You will also view the new replies and discussions to see the new changes since when you visited the discussion page. You can as well format the text using the format options in the text editor. You can also view the participants who are available at the time you are posting your discussion.

Word count

When learning how to respond to a discussion post, you will view the word count below the text editor. Once you save your work in the discussion board, you can no longer view the word count. The items that you can view from the word count include web links, text-in lists, individual words, and superscript text. The formatting elements that do not have an effect on the word count include math formulas, images, alternative text, and blank spaces.

how to respond to a discussion post

Things to remember when learning how to respond to a discussion post

Follow the instructions

There are guidelines that an instructor may have given regarding how to respond to a discussion post. You want to ensure that you follow these guidelines when posting your response on the discussion board. Therefore, read the guidelines carefully and ensure you understand all the details. If there are no guidelines from the instructor, do not hesitate to inquire on the guidelines you should follow and how to respond to a discussion post.

The conversation should be meaningful

Discussion boards serve as a platform to hold meaningful conversations. Every post should build in a previous post. Giving your response to a post offers you the ability to expand an ongoing conversation. Therefore, be mindful of this when giving your response. You should not just agree or disagree with ideas in a particular post. You should build on a conversation. This concept is known as giving constructive responses. The three ways to give constructive responses are as follows:

Disagree respectfully

When you are disagreeing with a particular idea in a post or comment, you should do so with respect. You should first acknowledge the fact that the student has an opinion which you do not agree with at the moment. You should then proceed to give reasons why you disagree with their post. Avoid the use of language that gives the impression that you are attacking the other student, or that shows the post has affected you emotionally. Your post to show respectful disagreement uses the words “No, because”. No indicates that you disagree with the post. You should then give the reason for disagreeing after the ‘because’.

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Agreeing with a post and expanding on it

Imagine this scenario. You read a fellow student’s post and agree with the message they are passing across. However, you feel that the idea would be more influential if the writer added some details to the post. In that case, you will be agreeing with the idea expressed and exploring other angles. The angle you seek to expound on should build the conversation. In such a response post, you should use the words” Yes, and”. Yes shows your agreement with the post. “And” proceeds to give more information about the post that you want to add to the post.

Agreeing with a post and further expanding on the post

This case scenario is similar to the above scenario, where you agree with a student’s post. However, you have a different opinion about the subject matter than your fellow student. Here, you will be pointing out views that differ from the student who posted. In general, you will be agreeing to the overall idea of the post, but you have contrasting views that make it hard to fully support the idea. In this case, you should use the words “Yes, but”. “Yes” shows that you agree with the idea of the author. “But” shows that you have contrasting views about the idea. You should express the contrasting views without diverting from the subject topic.

Etiquette to follow when learning how to respond to a discussion post

Some of the guidelines that guide proper etiquette for online discussions include:

Use of plain language

Discussion posts should not be hard to read and comprehend. Students should thus use simple language when creating discussion posts.

how to respond to a discussion post

Remain in topic

As the discussion grows, there are high chances that one may stray from the main discussion topic. However, that will make the goal of the discussion mull and void.

Keep your posts short

Every student taking the course is a participant in the online discussion. That means that there will be many discussion posts to read and respond to. Lengthy discussion posts are tiring and may discourage other participants from reading the entire discussion post.

Keep it professional

An online discussion is not equivalent to an online chat with a friend. Just as the instructor requires you to use professional language when holding a discussion in class, online discussion posts should also use professional language. Students should refrain from using chat acronym, emoticons, and slang.

Respect other people’s opinions

Not all the opinions of students will auger well with you. However, you should respect their unique opinions just as you would want others to respect your opinion.

Provide evidence

Citations are necessary when putting up your discussion posts. Students will look at the citations before asking any more questions about your post. That means you will have less explanations to make.

Do not use all caps

Some people opt to write in caps so that the other participants do not ignore their posts. Other students believe that a discussion post in all caps emphasizes the point you want to put across.

Writing your discussion post in all posts gives the impression that you are shouting at the other participants. Shouting is a sign of rudeness and is not allowed even in a traditional classroom. Using proper punctuation will get your point across without necessarily writing in all caps.

Writing great responses to discussion posts on a discussion boards is as important as writing a great discussion post. A great discussion post would not amount to a successful discussion if the discussion responses are not strong. Also, the discussion responses contribute to your overall performance in the online discussion as the discussion posts you put up. Therefore, you cannot afford to take chances with your discussion board responses. You can get guidelines for how to respond to a discussion post response from Also; you can get quality writing services from My Homework Writers when writing that discussion post or responding to a discussion post.

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