What are Discussion Forums?
A discussion forum, also known as a message board, is a form of online communication known for its potential for longer posts and its asynchronous nature. A forum can be organized into sub-forums, followed by individual topics, called threads, and responses.
How can Discussion forums be used in courses?
Discussion Forums can be used for a variety of assignments. For example, you could create a role-playing activity where students reply to a thread from a different point-of-view (or in-character), or have students post pieces of writing and require other students to comment on them. There are also a variety of ways that discussion posts can be graded, such as length and frequency of posts, overall quality of the responses, or originality. The Canvas LMS discussion tool allows for the use of rubrics which can streamline grading.
Bath, D. & Bourke, J. (2010). Getting Started with Blended Learning. Griffith Institute for Higher Education.
Rutgers University (2013). Grading Threaded Discussion - A Model. Retrieved from https://onlinelearning.rutgers.edu/resource-grading-threaded-discussions-model.
For more information on how to use discussion forums, check out the related ideas.
Idea 8: Creating Interwoven Class Discussion with Discussion Boards