Use Case: Discussions and Group Work
Discussions can be a great tool for enabling group work so they have a place to communicate about a project and share resources with each other, or to enable some group specific peer to peer feedback. There are a couple of ways to create group discussions depending on what you’re looking to use them for.
Group Discussions via release conditions
Use Case: Remedial
Based off achievement in a quiz, assignment, or any other activity that keeps data in Brightspace, you can release a discussion topic to people who didn’t fulfill criteria/didn’t do so well. Having an expert in these discussions can be useful and those don’t have to be a facilitator but can also be a high performing learner or SME in the organization.
As discussions are mostly used to practice higher levels in the Blooms Taxonomy, it might be a good place to use a variety of questions in order to elicit where their comprehension on Blooms’ scale has gone wrong.
Use Case: Choice/selections
You can use checklists or self enrolment groups to offer learners a choice of options – subjects they want to investigate or areas of mutual interest/study. From there, you can release a discussion topic or forum to people who chose that option.
This is a great approach when you don’t know what the outcome of a student’s choice is and are letting your learners choose their own pathway/topic of learning.
Group Discussions by Specified Groups
If you have specified and predefined groups within your course you can create discussions for each of them automatically when you create the groups. This is really useful if you want each group to have their own area for a project: a space where they can share ideas, information, and generally work on something together.
One of the advantages of this approach is through using the discussion statistics tool – you can gauge contributions and engagement from all group members.
You also have the option to restrict discussions to groups or sections. If you create a new discussion topic, you can allow members of a group/section only to see their section’s posts. This is good practice for anyone using sectional setup within a course.
- Want to post a message to all group discussions but don’t want to copy it into each topic? Simply
Individual Discussions: Journaling
There are other ways to enable journaling and reflection in Brightspace which usually involve using text submission assignments or portfolio, however you can also create single user discussions that enable learners to have their own journal during the length of the course. Major advantage here is that you can always see this, and assess the journal at the end.
If you’re creating individual discussions, or group activities, you might want to assess participation in them either as part of a course grade or formatively to provide learners with feedback – best practices for assessing discussions is available.
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