Thursday, February 4, 2021

Discussions are Important

This semester I’m teaching two online special education courses. One assignment is to answer questions at the end of the chapter. One of my students answered the question and since it was an opinion question based on what she had read, I gave her full credit even though I disagreed with her. In the comment section, I posed a question that required further thought about her answer.

After seeing her grade and reading my comments, she sent me an email and I wanted to share one of her comments and part of my response.

She said, “I wanted to email my thoughts to you as we can't meet in class to have a face-to-face discussion, and we can't really discuss new perspectives as we move through this course.”

I answered, “I miss this kind of interaction and discussion that we would have had if we were in a face-to-face class…I think ongoing discussions like this are as important as the actual textbook instruction.”

I have a Discussion board set up with specific questions that they answer and discuss but there is something about a face to face discussion that is very different than this. It involves thinking and talking at the moment. People can read each other's body language and tone of voice. Others may feel more comfortable asking questions that they don’t have to write out in words.

I really miss having these in-person discussions because I think students really can get a lot out of it. I think I may set up a zoom meeting where we can just meet and have a chat online. We don’t have to have a formal agenda but I think it is important that we get together to discuss any concerns that anyone may have.

How do you handle online discussions? Please share.

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

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