Online conversation spaces: encouraging meaningful dialogue on chat boards

Two of the fallacies of online learning are: a.) it's less work than in-person learning and b.) it's easily scalable.

Perhaps nowhere are these fallacies more evident than in asynchronous, online discussion spaces. Where in-person conversation may flow freely or spontaneously (or be generated by cold-calling on students), the online space can often be moribund. The fact is, additional thought and a great deal of work needs to be put into the operation of a discussion board that doesn't necessarily need to happen in the classroom.

In this session we will cover:

  • The types of things that happen organically in the classroom that need to be considered beforehand and re-engineered back into an online space,
  • The responsibility of the professor to also participate and model interactive and engaging chat-room behavior,
  • Setting and communicating expectations (and measurements) in online spaces,
  • Ensuring that your students are comfortable with navigating and using chat-room spaces.
  • At the end of this session, you should be much better prepared to plan and execute a class that contains a text-based chat room.

Jill Smith has been on both sides of the learning and teaching online equation in three different roles: as a student, a TA, and a professor. Will Monroe has been an online graduate student and taught asynchronous online courses for the last two years.



Jill Smith's picture
Real name: 
Instructional Technology Librarian
Georgetown University Law Center
Will Monroe's picture
Real name: 
Assistant Director for Instructional Technology
LSU Law Center

Session Time Slot(s)

06/04/2020 - 17:00 to 06/04/2020 - 18:00