“Hi, this is Linda Richman. I’m verklempt ! Talk amongst yourselves! Here, I’ll give you a topic: The Holy Roman Empire. It wasn’t holy, it wasn’t Roman, and it wasn’t an empire. Discuss!”
Just a little Saturday Night Live Humor for you.
Now – If you have some students who are super quiet in class, you might be surprised at how they come to life online. I have seen such a change in my students when I ask them to join in on an online discussion. Usually a week-long discussion board is all you need as a great assignment to bring them out of their shells!
Here’s how – Choose an exciting or controversial topic to motivate participation, similar to how you would choose one for a great debate, or socratic seminar in the classroom! One possibility is to post a difficult problem or debate question and ask students to write a multi-paragraph response.
Later in the week, they can respond to two or more of their classmates. You can also ask students to post a document or video to enhance their response. I have found that group assignments work especially well online. It is harder to free-ride on your group when all your work is displayed. Continue reading “Discuss amongst yourselves (Online that is!)”