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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Taking Your Course Online, Part 5 of 6

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Populate the Course

Enter each Blackboard folder and add the content. Include a short description for each item. Indicate what the item is and how it is relevant to the lesson. The description helps students understand how to associate (frame/attend to) this item in relation to the rest of the course materials.

Create Opportunities for Community Building

Enter the Blackboard Discussion Board, create a Forum, and post an introductory assignment. For example, you might ask each student to write on to three paragraphs explaining who they are and why they took your course. Require students to read entries from other students. You might also encourage them to respond to each other. This is the first step in creating an “online community” for your course.

Tips for strengthening discussions

  • When introducing a new thought/concept/introduction, be sure to start by clicking “Add New Thread.”
  • The subject line is important. When starting a new thread, make sure to create a subject line that both clues in the reader and catches the eye of the audience.
  • When replying to a posting, leave the “re:” position of the subject line, but feel free to edit the subject line to express how you are extending the conversation. This way everyone can get a quick glance at the direction of the conversation within a thread without actually opening each posting.
  • Provide an assessment rubric to the students that defines your expectations.

Plan on adding at least one new topic to the Discussion Board Forum each week. Make sure this topic requires students to formulate an answer and back it up with facts to demonstrate their understanding. Monitor and respond to student threads and encourage student to do the same.

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2005 by in Distance Education, Instructional Technology.

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