Remember to read and watch the information on all tabs in this lesson before clicking the Next button at the bottom of the page to move on to the Try It.
- Interacting Online
- Discussion Overview
- Writing a Post
- Replying to Posts
- Grades and Feedback
Online discussions are a little bit different from discussions in your regular, face-to-face (sometimes called F2F) classroom. You won’t be able to have the same back-and-forth as you have in a classroom discussion. You won’t hear immediately from others on what they think about what you are saying. You will have to return to the discussion for a few days to see what everyone has to say.
Some of the differences in online discussions are positive. Because you can answer when you want, you are not put on the spot to respond to a tough question right away. You can take time to carefully think through what you want to say. And you don’t have to respond right away to someone you disagree with. You can take some time to think about why you disagree. That may allow you to state your view more respectfully.
In our online discussions, you should follow the same netiquette rules as you do for email. The number one rule is that real people, not computers, read your emails and comments. Do not say anything that you would not say in person. Remember the ACCESS Acceptable Use Policy. Any inappropriate behavior, including cyberbullying, will not be tolerated.
Beyond following the rules of netiquette, you should also follow some basic online privacy rules.
Keep identifying information private. This includes your cell number, your home address, and your birthday – anything that is uniquely connected to you. And certainly don’t post your D2L username or password.
Online discussions will feel unusual at first. But hang in there. The more you participate, the more comfortable you will get. You will also develop more of a community in your class. And even better, you will find even more motivation to succeed.
During your course, you may be asked to work with other students on a collaborative project. But what is collaboration? And how do you collaborate with students who are not in the same place you are?
In a collaborative project, each group member works together to create something. That “something” might be a presentation, a poster, a report, a story, a video… The format of the final product will depend on your course’s project. The important thing to know is that each group member plays a part and is responsible for the project’s success.
In most ACCESS collaborative projects, each group member will be graded individually on the work they contribute. So, if your project is a collaborative presentation, you might be graded on
- your research notes
- the images you chose
- your first draft
- your feedback to other group members.
You’ll also be graded on the final project itself. However, you will always have a chance to look it over first and offer suggestions.
To be a good group member in an online course, follow the guidelines below.
1. Keep on schedule. Make sure you do your part by the project deadlines. Post your work early so others can give feedback on it. Check group project discussions every day to see where your group members need your help. Don’t be the group member who turns something in late and causes problems for everyone.
2. Talk to your teacher and group members about how you will communicate. Most group projects will have a discussion board. This can be helpful to track who says what. Your teacher might also offer you the option to email, chat, or use another tool. Your participation in group communication, whether it is dividing up work, sharing your work, or giving feedback may even count as a grade for your project! Make sure you know how you are expected to communicate with group members and if this communication will be graded.
3. If you are having problems with your group, talk to your teacher. Group work online will be new, so expect a few bumps. However, if you have tried to talk to your group members and things are not working, talk to your teacher. Your teacher will understand and will find a solution that will allow you to successfully complete your project.
Online collaboration is challenging, but if you follow these basic guidelines, you will be successful.