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Best Practice Model Wiki - Online Discussions

Page history last edited by Helen Walmsley 12 years, 10 months ago

 Best Practice Model Wiki - Online Discussions


This wiki allows e-learning practitioners to share their experience and expertise on using online discussions and relate it to the Best Practice Model created by Gilly Salmon (see http://www.atimod.com/e-moderating/5stage.shtml). This model is available in the Best Practice Models for E-learning Community, together with case studies, tutorials and a discussion forum (see http://crusldi1.staffs.ac.uk/bestpracticemodels/


To use this page:

1. email Helen Walmsley for the password to edit this page.

2. Add a short description of any activities you have used in any of the stages of the model

3. Add your name as a contributor at the bottom of the page.

4. Thanks!


Salmon's Stage  Tutor's suggested activities
Access and Motivation
  • Students are asked to send me a short e-mail which includes their latest CV, and why they have chosen to study their particular degree.
  • Students ask the teacher questions
  • Use forums to organise project groups - post meeting minutes, tasks, and work in progress. Supervising teachers can monitor and intervene.
  • use "sandbox" forums to give participants a practice space for learning about the forum tools, and to become familiar with the ubiquitous Moodle editing toolbar
Online Socialisation
  • I try to put students with similar career plans into the same sub-groups e.g. many students want careers in finance, or in marketing. I ask them to find the names and websites of major firms both locally and nationally, who operate in their intended careers.
  • Holding conversations in the language you are studying, perhaps linking up with others learning the same language elsewhere and involve people for whom it is a native tongue
  • use forums for social interactions, to strengthen the group dynamic and prevent isolation for distance participants
  • For year 1 (or even Foundation Year students), set something sociable e.g. where are the best student friendly offers to be found in Manchester?
Information Exchange
  • For Second and final year undergraduates, I ask them course related material e.g. the Ansoff-Mintzberg debate has been in strategy textbooks for years, but do modern writers have a different perspective in journals today?
  • Students ask the teacher questions
  • Appoint student experts on sub topics, who can be asked questions, by teacher or students
  • Have individuals submit material on different sub-topics in a class research task
  • Invite an expert onto the forum who can talk to students and answer questions
  • Students post their visual displays for class presentations
  • Students share essays on the same topic
  • Students share essays on different topics
Knowledge Construction
  • Use De Bono's 6 hats to propose different roles and approaches to a topic. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Thinking_Hats  6
  • Students ask the teacher questions
  • Answer study questions: students comment on and/or grade each others' responses
  • Answer study questions: teacher comments on and grades students' responses - comments can be public, grades can be private (control this using role overrides)
  • plan an essay as a group (possibly using the forum) - then each students posts their section of the essay to the forum
  • Have a simulation roleplay where students act as e.g. historical figures or characters from a book - create special accounts, or just have students sign their posts as their alter egos
  • Doing collaborative experiments by sharing results e.g. of field studies, allowing pooling of data from different parts of the country/world
  • use forums for case study discussion
  • Ask the students to write a reflective essay on the value of their studies to their future career plans. Good essays should go beyond ' I am doing it for a certificate'.
  • Suggestions box and student feedback on the course and its delivery


Other ideas:

  • Use as a collaborative study journal, where students record their ideas and feelings about their studies
  • Use forums as a class activity to supplement, or as an alternative to, class discussion
  • Use forums to support students on study leave, via peer support, student support, or both
  • Have a virtual lesson - a set hour in which participation in the forum discussion is compulsory



Many thanks to our contributors:

Ben Scoble

Michael Green

Paul Richardson

Megan Robertson

Julia Duggleby



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