Flu-proof your course: Discussions and student engagement
Coursework at Bucknell depends on a constant dialogue among students and faculty. Your class depends on the interaction and engagement of your students. But, if illness makes it impossible for some of your students to attend class sessions, how do you keep them engaged and in touch with you and their fellow students?
Moodle’s forum feature is an easy way to take course dialogue online. You can add a forum for discussion and students can post responses to each other. They can even add attachments, such as a Word document or image, to discussion board posts and link to resources on the Web.
Many faculty already use the forum feature before class sessions as a “starting point” for students to consider a topic or question and post their initial thoughts before talking face to face in class. The Forum can also be used as a “follow up” to continue the debate after the class session or address points that might have been unclear to the students.
If your students engage in ongoing research or a series of readings during your course, you might also investigate use of Bucknell Blogs, our community blogging platform. Students can use the tool to make posts or comment on other posts on the blog. A blog is structured so that the most current posts are most visible and easy to access, making it a good choice for situations where topics being discussed change on a frequent basis.
Depending on your class and the situations of you and your students, you may prefer to use Webex to provide real-time discussion with voice and shared visuals. Webex requires a bit more preparation to use than the Moodle forum, because the tool itself typically requires a little practice to use effectively. However, in certain circumstances, Webex can be an ideal and powerful way to continue your class discussions.
For more information contact contact an Instructional Technologist at ITEC@Bucknell.edu
Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanofi-pasteur/5283434109/in/photostream/