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Students often respond in formulaic ways that seem motivated solely by the goal of getting points, and professors are left feeling that the discussions are superficial and fail to achieve their intended ends. Recover your password. Syllabus Showcase. in.

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Relatedly, chat-based platforms allow for emoji reactions to comments so students can express a range of reactions in a quick and informal way. The two most popular chat-based platforms are Slack and Discord, both of which are free to use.

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Like any pedagogical decision, switching to a chat-based platform will involve trade offs, but I think it is a change worth considering. Chat-based platforms, by contrast, are much better suited for our needs. Discord, one of the free chat-based platforms mentioned above also allows for the creation of custom emojis, and I have experimented with pedagogical uses of having students create and respond using emojis with specific, agreed upon meanings for our class.

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In addition to platform fatigue, there is the problem of faculty having to learn a new platform, which may not be worthwhile especially if faculty are not planning to teach online in the future. Another option is Teams part of the Microsoft Suite and some Learning Management Systems have started to incorporate chat-based platforms into their sites.

In particular, I have found that students often use emojis to praise one another for especially insightful posts. Teaching Practiced Liberatory Virtue Ethics. Discussion forums, in their digital architecture, are essentially message boards, so it is helpful to consider how users typically make use of message boards in online communication. In these ways, message boards are like digital filing cabinets that allow for specific information to be archived and retrieved as needed.


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Our Learning Management Systems can often lead us, too often, to make unreflective pedagogical decisions. There are a of discussions of chat-based platforms that make them preferable for online discussions. Because they are searchable, they can be useful for compiling lists to which people can add. Manon Garcia - April 28, As a French chat, I grew up thinking that philosophy was for everyone. While there are lots of things we can do to improve discussion board asments, another option professors may want to consider is to use a different platform altogether.

But the platform is simply not built to do what we want it to do, and message boards are not places where these kinds of rich back and forth conversations happen easily. Rather, we often try to replicate the generative back and forth conversations that happen in face to face classes on our discussion forums.

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Forgot your discussion Second, message boards are good for archiving information. In my own classes, I also have a week of chat asments at the beginning of the semester that are entirely deed around platform familiarity before we dive into the material. Students who might not make an appointment to come see me during office hours or take the time to send an will often ask a quick question and engage with me via chat. I also make sure to follow up with students who seem to be struggling early on, and I make sure that I am highly available the first couple weeks of class to provide support.

A message board for online teaching might include a thread, for example, with resources for editing videos.

Chat-based alternatives to online discussion forums

First, they allow for spontaneous synchronous interactions even in asynchronous classes. Password recovery. First, they are useful for getting specific answers to specific questions. And while we should be careful about introducing too many new things in our classes, creating the conditions for richer and more generative discussions is, in my view, worth the time and effort.

I myself have ended up chatting with students synchronously when they are online during my office hours.

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Comment: Please comment! Blog of the APA the discussion. To mitigate these problems, I have found that it is helpful to explain to students the reasons for using the platform so that they understand that the decision is not an arbitrary one.

But these are not typically the discussions for which we use chat forums in our classes. Notify me of new posts by. November 18, Rebecca Scott. Get help. In my own experience and through conversations with others, I have found that many philosophy teachers find that they are dissatisfied with discussion forums in their online classes.

Philosophy as a Way of Life. Just as the physical arrangement of the classroom impacts how students engage with one another in the classroom, the digital environment similarly affects how students engage with our online classes.

The slides from the presentation including an image of one of the platforms discussed can be found here. Assistant Professor at Harper College. Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Thanks for this practical suggestion. Advanced search.

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Posts You May Enjoy. In addition to emojis, chat-based platforms allow for a more seamless embedding of photos, gifs, links, and files. Chat-based Alternatives to Online Discussion Forums. It turns out that message boards are helpful in two ways.

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For example, when the Wi-Fi on my new computer kept cutting out, I found a solution to my problem on a tech support message board. Notify me of follow-up comments by.

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Despite these benefits, there are some challenges that it is important to acknowledge when considering a switch to chat-based platforms for online discussion. He is the Park Ranger, she is the Other: gender in Teaching April 28, Syllabus Showcase: Jacob J. Go to mobile version. That is, students will often find that they are online at the same time and end up engaging in a synchronous back and forth chat that rarely or never occurs in discussion forums where users cannot see who is online and have to refresh to see new posts.

Her research interests lie at the intersections of philosophy and pedagogy. In my own classes, I have found that using a chat-based discussion is more effective for creating the sense of community and the generative conversations I hope for in my online classes than using traditional chat forums.

And finally, some chat-based platforms like Slack and Discord have robust mobile apps, making them more accessible for students who may have limited access to a computer. up. Some institutions may have rules against using third-party platforms, so it may be worth checking to make sure that you are allowed to use alternative platforms before doing so. Log into your. article Call for applications: — Edinburgh Fellowship.