unit 4    Discussing Content with Your Classmates




In this unit, you’ll explore how the discussion of content enhances learning. Like face to face discussions, online discussions can help you gain insight and understanding of the content you are learning by personalizing it to your individual situations. Guided questions help focus your thoughts on the learning goals while reading the thoughts others have posted on those same questions help you gain perspective. As you discuss your opinions and understanding of content, you deepen your ability to apply it to your own situation. Applied learning occurs because the content is connected to your own situation and needs. The richness of the discussion allows you to tailor your learning to meet your personal needs for the content. Application of ideas makes them relevant. As you participate in this unit, think about the power of discussion to you’re your learning relevant to you and your situation.


After completing this unit, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the value of peer discussion in adding relevance and authenticity to content.
  • Understand the importance of participation in threaded discussions for teaching and learning.
  • Identify strategies to enhance and deepen discussions in the online environment.


Read over Discussion Based Learning from Brigham Young University to get a summary of how discussion based learning works to enhance engagement in learning and teaching.

Watch the video, OTD-Online Threaded Discussion on You Tube.

Then watch Building Online Learning Communities: Making Discussion-Based Learning Vibrant and Engaging (1 of 2) on You Tube.


Links For your convenience, the web addresses for the links in the readings and Activities Sections are provided below.

pdf file   Discussion-Based Learning    http://www.byui.edu/Documents/instructional_development/Instructional%20Tools%20Page%20PDFs/Discussion-based%20Learning.pdf

movie or video   OTD-Online Threaded Discussions     https://youtu.be/nC14U7G_qEU

movie or video   Building Online Learning Communities: Making Discussion-Based Learning Vibrant and Engaging (1 of 2)   https://youtu.be/6t6aZtT2O7o

pdf file   Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation   https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation.pdf



Explore the white paper Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation to see what is involved in well run online discussions.  

The paper is also available in the Course Resources Folder.

discussion     Using Threaded Discussions

Go to the Discussion Forum for this unit.

Consider the videos and reading on discussion based learning. In unit 2, you explored the advantages of online learning.Post an initial comment that addresses these questions.

  • How does developing a substantive answer to a discussion starter help you learn?
  • How can responding to others add richness to your understanding of the content you are learning?
  • What discussion strategies do you find most engaging?  How do they engage learners to participate in discussions?

Return to the Discussion Forum throughout the unit and respond to at least two of your classmates. Enhance and extend the discussion with ideas and examples from the readings and videos, along with any personal experiences you can connect to the concepts being discussed. Use evidence to enrich your ideas.

Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2016, 9:51 AM