I am ready to be the Facebook mom on discussion boards.
Discussion boards are on the podium for the worst assignments. There is a feeling of sounding silly when writing your thoughts. There’s no right or wrong answer when you’re asked for your opinion.
Yet, reading everyone else’s responses before writing yours will definitely sway your thoughts. I will say that discussion boards can be a great way for students to share their thoughts, especially for those who don’t feel comfortable speaking out in class.
The discussion board is the least prioritized assignment. It seems to be the assignment that is pushed off until the last minute. Although, it takes about 5 minutes maximum to do. But what do you expect? Students have other things to worry about like if someone threw their laundry out the dryer or if their RA can hear the ping pong balls bouncing from the hallway.
Here’s the thing about waiting until the last minute: you get a good grasp on what you want to write. You understand your classmate’s point of view and it can help you develop your own. Most times, it is students restating what others said just to get their post out of the way.
The whole point of a discussion board is to reply to others. There is an easy way to go about this: find the shortest post and agree. The magic words for a reply are, “Hi! I agree with your point, and it is really interesting that you said…” Simple and you’re done.
There is a part of me that wants a little more excitement in discussion boards. In a pandemic, you can imagine my life isn’t too exciting. I wouldn’t mind arguing with a classmate. Obviously, I wouldn’t be foul and bring up their poor hookup choices. I’m not going to curse them out, but is it too much of an ask for people to care for a chance? There is a difference between debating and being an asshat.
It sounds strange to want someone to disagree, but not everyone will agree with you. For example, people are not going to think your Chipotle order is better than theirs. A discussion board is a perfect way to express different arguments and handle them respectfully.