Importance of Online Discussion Boards in Learning
We are living in the digital age, where everything is a click away. The ICT age has had a significant influence on many sectors, including education. Learning is moving to a paperless, more collaborative, and technologically advanced phase. One of the digital features used in today’s learning is online boards. This refers to an online platform where students can carry out discussions. It’s part of an online class session, where students can write their comments, which are visible to other class members.
Some online discussion boards also have face-to-face interaction features. Such platforms encourage healthy and on-topic discussions that complement conventional learning methods perfectly. Below are some notable advantages.
It Enhances Collaboration
An instructor can ask students to share their notes to create a comprehensive collection through online discussion boards. Students share their unique messages, adding a new idea that another student may lack. This way, students who are missing essential concepts in their notes have constant access to complete notes.
Instructors also have access to the notes. Thus, they can monitor the discussion and add what is missing. They can also clarify any misunderstandings, share helpful resources like WritePaper, or correct any messages. Therefore, also get access to students who may face difficulties in note-taking.
The physical class discussion has a liveliness advantage. Most instructors and institutions are against online-based teaching methods as they worry that students interact less. They miss out on those bubbly moments before and after class since all they do is stare at the screen. Online discussion boards provide an excellent solution for this. They allow students to engage in informal discussions and hold out of class discussions. For clarity, you can create different discussion boards for formal class discussions and informal tasks. Ensure that the name and instructions of each show the kind of interactions expected.
Instructors can also champion discussions in the forums and dictate the types of conversations. For example, in the informal group, they can ask students to send pictures of their pets. Instructors are responsible for modeling conversations.
An Online Presentation Space
Students can post their works on the online forum, allowing other students to interact with their work. Instructors can create a discussion topic, which will enable students to share a thread of their semester works. Other students can come into the space to get inspiration or give comments on the work. They can also interact with the students directly and encourage them. Students who have issues like stage fright or are introverts may benefit a lot from such features. Introverts and extroverts have equal opportunities for contribution.
Online discussions do not have limits such as location. You can discuss with people in different parts of the world in the comfort of your home. This creates room for diverse opinions. People of different backgrounds and cultures get to give their varying views on subjects. This is a huge benefit, especially for university students or other higher learning institutions. When you ask a question like how to write a good speech, you get different answers, which increases the discussion’s value.
The Ability to Control Discussions
There is always that person who makes inappropriate remarks in a constructive discussion. They do this intending to distract other students or to attract attention. In a physical setting, it may not be easy to control such attention. In an online environment, some features allow administrators to limit interactions with a particular person. Other participants can also ignore remarks from disruptive students. Instructors do not have to waste a lot of time in guiding the discussion.
Imagine the convenience of attending a class on your couch and in your pajamas. That is the kind of comfort that online discussion boards bring. Students and instructors do not need to leave their homes to go to a brick-and-mortar classroom. Commuting to school is often tiring and frustrating. Figuring out transport and dealing with people on the way can lead to anxiety. This adds to the number of issues that instructors need to rectify.
Online discussion boards help students learn at the comfort of their homes and within their schedule. Additionally, classroom disruptions such as bathroom breaks, sharpening pencils, flipping of books, etc., are not present in online forums. Students focus better on their education.
In a traditional classroom discussion, some students dominate the conversation. Some students feel unmotivated or intimidated to give their opinions. In an online setting, all they have to do is write a comment for anyone to read. They get enough time to formulate their ideas and share them only when they are ready.
Online discussion boards are changing the way students communicate and how instructors relate to the students. More students in the digital age are comfortable communicating online than face to face. When instructors can communicate with them at their comfort level, they can better understand their students and impart knowledge more effectively.