We offer this opportunity for you to view the gems from the earlier Discover! section in action. You will witness an instructor, Professor Beal, facilitate an online discussion. After engaging in this interactive case study you will be asked to think about key issues relating Professor Beal's facilitation as you think about your own online discussion design and facilitation process.

"The Directed Discussion"

Professor Beal, of Mystic University, is teaching an online course on instructional techniques for junior year undergraduate pre-service teachers. Although she has been an instructor for 15 years, this will be her second online course. For her online discussions Professor Beal has decided to use our suggested methods to help her students get the most out of the discussions.

During the first two weeks of the course, the class has become familiar with the course tools and interface. They have participated in an "ice-breaker" discussion the first week of class and began academic discussions shortly thereafter. This week they are investigating multiple learning styles. In particular, they are focusing on the basic three learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Their assignment prior to posting on the discussion board was to visit an informational website on learning styles, take a learning styles test, and read about technology and higher education. Experimenting with group size, Professor Beal has divided her class of 12 students into smaller groups of four.



Modified November 2002
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