Meaningful Discussions


“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. “

-Peter Drucker

Hello, faculty!

This week, our focus centers on incorporating meaningful discussions into your courses to foster a sense of community among your students. Engaging in discussions can provide a reflective experience for both you and your students, offering a platform to exchange ideas and an avenue for assessment.

Additionally, our newsletter includes practical examples of instructional technology tools that are already integrated into myCourses to support and manage discussion assessments. These tools, coupled with the additional strategies highlighted in the content below, will equip you with a range of creative ideas for facilitating discussions, whether in the online or traditional classroom environment.

-The ID Team
CITS | Instructional Development

WHY WHO HOW AND YOU meaningful discussions what's in a discussion? Why Discuss?


Communication is foundational to building relationships with your students, even if you never meet with them face-to-face. Incorporating thoughtful and productive ways to interact as a community, sets up a successful atmosphere for sharing ideas and assessing knowledge. Embrace the opportunity to connect with your students and foster a space for them to connect with each other!


In this edition learn: 

  • Why it is important to engage in discussions.
  • How to create discussions in myCourses using the Discussion Board tool, VoiceThread, and even using Kaltura!
  • How to connect online forums to in-class discussions.


Our goal for you is to: 

  • Generate ideas for future discussion forums.
  • Learn how to use tools to foster discussions.
  • How to engage student learning using discussions.

The concept of Active Learning has been around since the 1860s…

We tend to learn best when confronted with opportunities to work with concepts. Let’s take a closer look at active learning and provide a list of techniques that can be used in your classroom.

Jeffery Galle discusses Inquiry-based Learning…

“Students get excited when they’re confronted with problems which they have the confidence to explore…being an actively engaged student is not easy.”

Generating and Facilitating Engaging and Effective Online Discussions

Blackboard | Teaching Effectiveness Program

“…engaging classes are about the teacher. No matter where learning takes place, you can transform your lessons into an adventure that will spark students’ interest and keep them focused for a lot longer than you’d expect.”

How to Hold Better Class Discussions advice guide How to Hold a Better Class Discussion

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Professors can start their academic terms off on the best foot with students by creating a first-day survey to collect information about learning goals, personal information, and prior knowledge.

null"" Academic Success Tip: Labs Promote Better Student Discussion Boards

Inside Higher Ed

Online course instructors can improve students’ confidence and skills in posting on discussion boards by teaching them key skills in short training sessions. Providing students with examples and best practices in how to write online discussion posts can alleviate student fears and promote better submissions.

 Faculty – How to create media-rich discussions in VoiceThread.
 Faculty – Create Discussion Board Forums in myCourses.
⏯ Faculty – Grading a Discussion Forum.
 Students – Use and Submit Discussions in myCourses.
💡Did you know you can embed a Kaltura recording in a discussion forum?
✅ Be sure to use only Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome for working in myCourses.

Need help clarifying Discussion Board Netiquette? Share this video with your students:


Instructional Development works with faculty to…

  • Explore, design, and experiment with different teaching and learning modes.
  • Research and integrate technologies that can enhance teaching and learning.
  • Design and develop online courses and programs.
  • Write learning outcomes, design assessments, craft activities, and develop content.
  • Utilize best practices for using instructional technologies.

Feel free to contact us online to book an appointment!