Interactions within online courses are typically asynchronous, with the most common form of interaction being the discussion forum. It takes thought and planning to optimize your student’s experience within a discussion forum.
Learn ways to extend learning and save time with online discussions. Within each module/week it is important to identify ways for your students to interact with you, with each other, and with the content.
You may also want to consider holding a “live” session or collaborating with a face-to-face classroom or online course. The Technology Assessment Checklist can help you determine what technology you might need.
Below is a list of the opportunities and challenges associated with common online course interaction tools.
|Discussion Forums||Allows students to connect with peers, practice critical thinking and reflection, easily assessed for both content and peer feedback||Text-based and linear, potentially difficult to foster complex interactions, questions must be well-constructed in order to engage students|
|Synchronous Chat/Conferencing||Provides real-time interaction, develops social connections||Dependent on high-speed internet connection, not everyone will be comfortable using mic and webcam|
|Blogs||Provides a platform for reflection and metacognition||Requires thought and structure to actively engage students|
|Collaborative Authoring||Real-time collaboration, ability to see development over time, able to assess individual contributions||Need to provide clear guidelines for assessment|
|Interactive Visualizations||Rapid feedback, ability to see aggregated peer contributions, visualize basic associations||Difficult to create visualizations of complex or sophisticated subjects|
If you are using a non-Cornell supported tool, please be sure to review the FERPA guidelines.