The Why and How of Class Participation
Just as in a face-to-face course, a great deal of learning comes from student interactions with each other and with the professor. Among the benefits of online courses are the views and opinions of every online course participant. Each individual is a unique and valuable course resource. Therefore, what makes the online course experience so valuable is participating on the course discussion board. The course experience will be lessened if individuals choose just to read the course materials and read the online discussion board postings without actually contributing themselves . During this online course you will have the opportunity to participate several ways:
- By completing the Introductory Survey
- In online discussions with other students and the instructor
- Through paging (These are private communications between you and the other person – student or professor who you paged or who paged you.)
- Through synchronous chats (These occur in real-time with two or more people online simultaneously; there is an archived record for all class participants to see.)
- Through email messages between you and the professor.
Except for the chat (which is not required), all participation is asynchronous and you can logon to send a message at any time, but you should schedule time for working on required activities just as you would schedule time each week to attend classes. The major benefit is the flexibility it affords you to participate in discussions and complete most learning activities around your own schedule. You should try to logon to the course site at least two times per week, but missing a few days due to work or travel should not negatively impact your online course experience .
The Discussion Board (From the D2L Student Guide)
“The Discussion board is an asynchronous tool which enables you to communicate from anywhere, any place and at any time. Much like a public bulletin board, the discussion board is open for everyone to use. It is a great place to share information, strategies and review helpful course related information. It is also a powerful forum to share ideas and opinions. The beauty of using the discussion board is that you can read, respond and review postings at your convenience.” See pages 19-22 of the D2L Student Guide.
Chat (From the D2L Student Guide)
“Chat is a synchronous tool which allows students to communicate in “real time” with instructors and classmates. In other words, classmates will need to log on and enter the chat tool at approximately the same time in order to participate in a chat with other people. Much like meeting in a face-to-face setting and chatting about a project, the chat tool allows you to meet online, in a chat forum and share ideas and information with our peers.” See page 23-24 of the D2L Student Guide.
The professor will review your introductory survey, your email messages, your posts to the discussion board, your chat archives, and your online activity. Quality counts as much as quantity.
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