Discussion Boards

One of the most beneficial components of a learning management system is to facilitate interactive discussion between classmates using discussion boards. A discussion board is a group communication tool used to share messages between recipients. Teachers can extend the discussion and debate of various topics using discussion boards. Distance learning allows students to discuss a wide range of topics long after classroom discussion has ended. Teachers will not be bound by the class dismissing because discussion boards will give teachers an avenue to extend and elaborate on student discussion outside of the classroom.

Applications for using an online discussion board:

1. Provide additional information to students and parents.

2. Extend discussion time on various issues beyond normal scheduled class time to allow for reflection or further comment.

3. Engage students in critical debate on a topic

4. Provide an outlet for students to pose questions and receive valuable feedback for further debate.

5. Allow students to share valuable links and resources for classroom projects.

This type of medium allows time for students to reflect and brainstorm for later discussion online. This forum allows for learning that would not be possible within the confines of a traditional school setting. Discussion boards provide a venue for students to interact and debate classmates on various topics. In addition, students are able to share valuable resources needed for classroom assignments.

Although discussion boards are a beneficial distance learning solutions for students and teachers, certain limitation must be evoked to ensure proper functionality. A teacher must set the groundwork to allow for civilized and useful conversations/interactions to occur while students use online discussion boards.

Rules for discussion boards use:

Set limits on the length of online threads.

Establish criteria used for grading students on using the different components of an online discussion board.

State the purpose of the online discussion board.

Establish in a syllabus the appropriate applications of the online discussion board.

A learning management system will give teachers the opportunity to open up chat rooms and discussion boards for parents to allow them to discuss a wide range of topics that will help teachers lessen the need for parent calls and frequent teacher parent conferences. Parents will have the opportunities to log-on to the discussion board and interact with their child’s teacher and clarify assignment/test dates with teachers. Doing this will also allow individuals to interact with other parents to further open up communication lines. This type of distance learning environment brings learning home to involve the child’s parents, which often will improve upon grades and performance of the child.

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