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EDU587: Week 5 – Discussion

April 13, 2021
Brenda I. Belcher

Week 5 – Discussion

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

 Active Learning [WLO: 1] [CLOs: 1, 2]

Active learning is experiential, mindful, and engaging. It is a process whereby learners engage in activities, such as reading, discussion, or role play, with the goal of promoting the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of learning content to increase critical thinking. Active learning stands in contrast to standardmodes of instruction in which instructors do most of the talking and students are passive.

For this discussion, choose one of the following statements about online discussion boards, and discuss how the particular element of active learning can be used to facilitate critical thinking in the online classroom. Use critical theory as discussed in Chapter 11 in the course textbook “Critical Thinking and Critical Perspectives” and the articles “Constructing Student Knowledge in the Online Classroom: The Effectiveness of Focal Prompts” and “Comparison of Restricted and Traditional Discussion Boards on Student Critical Thinking” to back up your response.

  • Online discussion boards offer individuals a tool through which they can actively participate in the class without feeling overwhelming anxiety, whereas in traditional classroom environments, they may have been distracted by the feeling of many sets of eyes on them.
  • Online discussion boards create positive growth in class community, which is reflected through a sense of cohesion with other students, a higher degree of trust among students, an increased number of inquiries and questions between students and the instructor, and a general sense that the class is valuable and applicable to student needs.
  • Discussion boards are an active method of learning, contrasted with the traditional lecture model that is much more passive.
  • Discussion boards create an active engagement with course content, which gives students an enhanced sense of empowerment.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers by Day 5, choosing at least one peer who selected the same statement about online discussion as you did. In your responses, compare and contrast your respective positions on how discussion board activities can facilitate and/or restrain critical thinking, and offer suggestions about how discussion in online classrooms can best be used.

Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you, including the instructor. Responding to the replies given to you will further the conversation and provide additional opportunities for you to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic. In addition to offering comments, question your peers about their responses to encourage further conversation.

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