Online classes benefit from a thriving discussion. Communicating online is quite different compared to a face to face discussion. For one, the “anonymity” will work in favor of the “shy” learners. Sometimes, students are afraid to speak their minds because they are unsure about how the others will react to what they have to say. When the opinion is given online, they do not have to deal with the face to face reaction. Not only that, it is easier to edit what you have to say if you are typing it rather than delivering it orally.
Of course, discussions online can only be effective if you can keep it going. The sharing of thoughts between the learners may be a great way to learn but there are times when the heat of the conversation grows cold and eventually stops. When people stop responding, the topic dies down and the learning stops. If you want to ensure that the learning goes on, you need to learn how to revive the discussion in online classes.
Here are 4 tips that can help you keep the online discussion alive.
- Ask open-ended questions. A close-ended question is answerable by “yes” or “no.” If you want to keep the conversation going, you should start by asking open-ended questions. These are the questions that require lengthy or opinionated answers from the learners. When they share opinions, it is more likely that someone will react to their answer. When someone reacts to that reaction, that is how the discussion starts to gain momentum.
- Disagree with a post or an opinion. The best way to get a reaction from someone is to disagree with what they said. It is not enough to say that you do not agree. You have to explain why. Phrase it in a way that will challenge the other to defend their views. In case you agree with the opinion, you can always post a comment that will provide an alternative view that will indirectly challenge the other. That is a great way to start a debate and get the online discussion flowing in online classes.
- Post an encouragement or statement that you want to hear other opinions. Feel free to call out those who have not yet given their opinions. Do not let them stay quiet. Mention their names and encourage them to post their views. Once they do that, feel free to respond so they will elaborate on the views they just shared.
- Set an example. Finally, you have to set and example. If you are facilitating the discussion in online classes, you have to make sure that you are posting frequently. Do not wait for the comments to die down before you make your online presence known. It is very important for you to stay active by commenting on various posts or responding to your own views and opinions.
These are only some of the ways that you can revive discussions in online classes. Remember that a lengthy exchange is a healthy practice for the learners. It can enrich the learning experience for everyone.
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