Promoting Student Interaction

Asynchronous activities:

Discussion boards

These are a great way to get students discussing a topic in writing. They work best for open-ended discussions rather than for content delivery. They can be set up to limit access to other students’ replies until after they have posted their own response. Professors can encourage discourse by having students post a response to a prompt, and then requiring them to respond to their classmates’ posts with meaningful responses. Such responses should go beyond mere statements that agree with the comment they are replying to and encourage further discussion. A sample rubric for assessing these replies can be found here.

  • Blackboard: The Blackboard discussion board is a versatile tool, and a great choice if you already use Blackboard, since you can integrate a rubric and link directly to your course’s grade book.

    • Instructor guides for creating and managing discussion boards in Blackboard: Discussions

WordPress/Qwriting: If you use a WordPress blog for your course, on Qwriting or elsewhere, asynchronous discussion is built into the interplay between posting and commenting. Using a blog is a great way to get students to interact around a topic related to your course.