Discussion Forum

Online forums can be used for a variety of purposes, which might include helping students to review material prior to an assignment or exam, engaging students in discussion of course material before going to class, and reflecting on material that they have read or worked with outside of class. If they are well-structured, online discussions can be an effective way to bolster student learning outside of class; however, often times, students’ entries do not reflect strong engagement which leads to the question “What exactly went wrong?” What steps can you take to make an online discussion forum reflect strong engagement? The following suggestions and example of a well-structured discussion forum activity may help you design a better Online Discussion Forum engagement.

Example: Online Discussion Forum Assignment.

Television and Internet
Christopher Hutchinson
The differentiation of the two eras of the golden age of TV has been well presented. At the first golden age, there was a very little option on what could be watched. The second golden age has transformed the TV with different options available. Your perspective of the use of the internet is very interesting. I had previously not considered the importance as a student, but rather in a general view. A major shortcoming is the lack of the disadvantage of easy access to information. The ease of access to information as a student makes it hard for students to be distracted while reading and researching online. As stated in the textbook, the internet has both positive and negative impact, mostly due to a large amount of information. Another major advantage of the internet is access to shopping. This further brings the other disadvantage caused by the increased cases of cybercrimes.

Angela Saggio
The most interesting section of this discussion is your perspective on the positive and the negative impact of the internet, specifically the use of the search engines for other part-time students. It is quite true that the search engine has been instrumental in making life easier by easing access to information. Your perspective on online shopping is also quite interesting. There are many instances where people have wasted their money online due to the ease of access to products. As such it is necessary to practice self-control. In accordance with the Bible's teachings, one should not adhere to the behaviors and beliefs commonly observed in the world, but instead undergo a metamorphosis by renewing their mind. (Romans 12:20)
It is necessary for everyone to practice self-control every time they are using the internet to prevent access of wrong information and misuse of information.

Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2013). Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology. Cengage Learning.

Why and how students can use an online discussion forum

An online discussion forum is used to provide students with a structured opportunity to work together and find answers to questions they are having trouble understanding. Students can use this forum to interact with their peers and collaborate to find solutions to problems. The forum provides an opportunity for students to ask and get answers to questions they have about the course material in preparation for exams. By using an online discussion, students can effectively teach and answer one another's questions, leading to less reliance on the instructor. Additionally, participating in online discussions allows students to practice writing and explaining concepts, which can be beneficial for exam preparation.

As a student, how do you prepare to participate in an online discussion?

To prepare to participate in an online discussion as a student, you should first ensure that you have access to the forum and are familiar with its format. Your instructor may provide instructions on how to access the discussion and may share guidelines on how to post a question, describe your thoughts about the question, and respond to other students' questions. It is important to follow these instructions and participate actively in the discussion by asking questions, responding to others' questions, and engaging in meaningful dialogue. Your instructor may also provide feedback on your responses and contributions to the discussion.

How can an online discussion benefit students?

The students can benefit from online discussions in several ways. By engaging in discussions with their peers, students have the opportunity to gain a variety of perspectives on the course material. This can help them to better understand concepts that they may be struggling with. Additionally, sharing their own ideas and knowledge with others can help them to solidify their own understanding of the material. The instructor can use an online survey tool to gather feedback from students and find out whether many of them find the online discussion to be helpful. Students report that reading through a variety of perspectives on the questions helps them to better understand the material, and that sharing ideas with others is a valuable learning experience.

Why Do Some Student Online Discussions Fall Flat?

Identifying what might be wrong with a discussion forum is extremely helpful. Students may not participate for a variety of common reasons, including:

  • ◆ Perhaps there is little incentive for participation. Students are unlikely to post or respond to others' posts in an online discussion forum unless they have an intrinsic or extrinsic reason to do so. Students may only participate as much as is required to fulfill course requirements, after which the discussion falls flat.
  • ◆ It's possible that students are unaware of the forum's goals. It's possible that even students who are familiar with online forums will have little understanding of the reason why a discussion forum is chosen as a class activity. It's possible that they are unaware of the intended outcomes.
  • ◆ Uncertain expectations may exist. If students are not given clear and specific instructions, they might not know what you want them to do on the forum.
  • ◆ Other students do not reciprocate in any way. Occasionally, the discussion forum may only be used by a small number of students, who communicate by sending one-to-one messages.
  • ◆ It's possible that some of the students are still unfamiliar with the platform's usage. To learn how to use the system and post in an organized manner, they may require some technical support or a demonstration.

How an Active Discussion Forum can Benefit Student Learning

An active discussion forum can benefit student learning in several ways. Firstly, it can encourage students to participate in discussions and engage with course material. Secondly, it can provide a platform for students to share their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives with their peers, leading to a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Thirdly, it can help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills as they learn to evaluate and respond to their classmates' ideas. Fourthly, it can facilitate collaboration and teamwork among students, especially in online or hybrid learning environments. Finally, it can help students prepare for assignments or exams by allowing them to practice applying their knowledge and skills in a supportive and interactive setting. Overall, an active discussion forum can enhance student learning and engagement, provided that clear objectives, strategies, and grading plans are established and communicated effectively to the students.

Needing “help” with a discussion forum?

MyPaperHub promises to release you from the shackles of discussion posts and discussion post responses; whether your Professors post two or three discussion threads a week, we guarantee timely and engaging responses. We deeply understand that your discussion posts are your way of interacting with your professors and classmates. Therefore, we create a strong impression by delivering carefully thought-out course lessons and ideas.

Notably, we shall present cohesive arguments that demonstrate an understanding of your course material, backing everything with evidence. For instance, before writing any posts, our writers shall read all your assigned readings and ensure adherence to formatting, response type, particulars, and purpose.

Not only shall our posts be relevant, but they shall wake up your classmates with strong perspectives and arguments. Therefore, we shall leave every participant wanting more through unique and thought-provoking posts.

How we respond to posts in your discussion forum.

• We are specific and to the point. We point out which part we liked from other students' writing.

• We inquire by asking questions on what they wrote.

• We respectfully agree or disagree with other students' points of view, and we go ahead to explain why we feel that way on your behalf.

• No question is left unattended. By the end, all the questions will be answered and appropriately closed.

Don Ferrell

Written By

Don Ferrell

As a Sociology researcher at the University of Texas, Don explores the various aspects of society and its impact on human behavior. His research focuses on understanding the social factors that contribute to inequality and the challenges faced by marginalized groups in society. Mathew's work sheds light on important social issues such as poverty, education, and healthcare, and aims to inform policy decisions that promote social justice and equality. With a passion for social research and advocacy, Mathew is dedicated to making a positive impact on society through his work.

The University of Texas at Austin

Response fact sheet

We decide what to respond; while deciding upon an approach that is both polite, engaging, and a class act.

Obstacle Detailing

Not sure how to respond to a post? We are well placed to rise to the occasion and offer a reasonable response.


We prioritize implementation strategies to develop a neat structure of insights we can then share with the community.