On completion of this sub-unit you will be able to:
stimulate good debates in both Moodle discussion forums and on social media like WhatsApp;
summarise a forum discussion at the end of the debate;
evaluate and mark contributions to a debate.
Central to the role of an online facilitator is to ensure participants learn! Let us investigate facilitation methods that are more effective than didactic teaching. What can you do within a forum, for example, that will create a rich learning envionment?
Activity 1: Stimulate good debates
What makes for a good discussion? Watch the video below on what makes for a good online discussion.
In your experience, what needs to be in place for online course participants to actively participate in a good argument? How would you do this online? Brainstorm your ideas with your colleagues below. Reply to their posts. (Note: This discussion contributes to the course completion statistics. In order to complete the task you need to post at least once and reply to at least two of your peers' posts.)
Unlike a regular discussion, online debates need to be summarized. As facilitator you need to read through the responses and then sum up the main messages and let the participants know what you consider to be the important points. This is usually done at the end of the discussion. The articles below outline effective summarizing strategies.