Title

The Classroom Polar Vortex: Using Threaded Discussions to Manage Mother Nature’s Insistent Behavior

Streaming Media

Submission Type

Event

Abstract

Threaded discussions are a common method of conversation in both online and blended classes. Research is mixed as to whether threaded discussions are a superior method of instruction. There is little doubt, however, that they offer a flexible and viable learning environment for dealing with unavoidable interruptions in the course schedule. This presentation offers a methodology for introducing threaded discussions in a traditional face-to-face classroom where circumstances, such as inclement weather, force the instructor or the university to cancel class. These discussions provide a valuable tool to replace and/or supplement traditional meetings with a guided conversation that can be used to foster student participation and reflective learning. Threaded discussions are interactive online conversations among members of common learning community(eg. a course, a section). Typically, they are asynchronous, meaning participants will offer insights at various points in time rather than in real time but within some overall time parameters as set forth by the instructor. One major benefit of threaded discussions is the creation of a rich peer learning process. This offers a greater depth of student feedback and allows students to benefit from the contributions of all class members. Reticent students who are often reluctant to participate in broader classroom discussions are forced to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Additionally, the asynchronous timing allows for well thought-out and reflective responses. For the instructor, threaded discussions offer a method to conduct class without the physical presence of its members. The discussion can take place over a period of time with a finite conclusion, at which point the instructor can review and assess the students’ level of comprehension and understanding.

Session

Session 2

Location

Thomas 110

Start Date

5-21-2014 11:20 AM

End Date

5-21-2014 12:00 PM

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May 21st, 11:20 AM May 21st, 12:00 PM

The Classroom Polar Vortex: Using Threaded Discussions to Manage Mother Nature’s Insistent Behavior

Thomas 110

Threaded discussions are a common method of conversation in both online and blended classes. Research is mixed as to whether threaded discussions are a superior method of instruction. There is little doubt, however, that they offer a flexible and viable learning environment for dealing with unavoidable interruptions in the course schedule. This presentation offers a methodology for introducing threaded discussions in a traditional face-to-face classroom where circumstances, such as inclement weather, force the instructor or the university to cancel class. These discussions provide a valuable tool to replace and/or supplement traditional meetings with a guided conversation that can be used to foster student participation and reflective learning. Threaded discussions are interactive online conversations among members of common learning community(eg. a course, a section). Typically, they are asynchronous, meaning participants will offer insights at various points in time rather than in real time but within some overall time parameters as set forth by the instructor. One major benefit of threaded discussions is the creation of a rich peer learning process. This offers a greater depth of student feedback and allows students to benefit from the contributions of all class members. Reticent students who are often reluctant to participate in broader classroom discussions are forced to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Additionally, the asynchronous timing allows for well thought-out and reflective responses. For the instructor, threaded discussions offer a method to conduct class without the physical presence of its members. The discussion can take place over a period of time with a finite conclusion, at which point the instructor can review and assess the students’ level of comprehension and understanding.