The Art of Online Conversation (Winter 2025)

The Art of Online Conversation (Winter 2025)

This course can count toward the Certificate of Proficiency in Teaching for eLearning.

Whether we teach in a traditional face-to-face classroom, a blended environment, or a fully online course, many of us make use of online forums to enhance student learning. Achieving an engaging online discussion, however, is easier said than done! In this fully online course, participants will learn by doing through ongoing participation in weekly discussion forums. We will explore strategies for creating effective prompts, apply best practices for facilitating vibrant and enriching online conversations of all types, and troubleshoot common challenges. We will explore how one’s approach to online discussion changes over the span of a semester- or year-long course, and integrate scholarship on eLearning into our understanding of effective online conversations.

This course is open to all who teach at York and no previous experience with online discussion forums is required. Participants can expect to spend a total of approximately 4-8 hours (1-2 hours per week) engaging with course content and activities. The course is designed asynchronously, meaning that while there are weekly deadlines, participants can complete each week’s tasks at any time that is convenient to them. This course is actively facilitated by a Teaching Commons instructor, and participants will be able to ask questions and access further support and resources by email or through the course eClass at any point.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course, participants will be able to design and facilitate effective, pedagogically informed online discussion forums by:
-Integrating forums meaningfully into online assessment strategies and/or learning activities
-Applying strategies to support community building and/or communication
-Encouraging deeper learning through instructor participation in online forums
-Creating opportunities for students to practice self-directed learning through discussion forums

Course Dates: January 20-February 21, 2025

While all required course activities are asynchronous, optional synchronous sessions will be held on Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 pm ET.

NOTE: Registration for this course closes on January 16th, 2025, 11:59 pm