How To Participate Effectively On Discussion Boards

 
There is no doubt about the fact that online learning is as important as classroom learning. The etiquette required to be followed in a classroom should be followed in an online learning platform as well. Nowhere does it matter more than a discussion board. Here are some tips to help you participate effectively on a discussion board:
 

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Remember TO participate effectively in a discussion:

 
Participating in a discussion is more than keying ‘I agree’ or I disagree’. Online discussions are a learning forum and their effectiveness largely depends on contribution from students. When you agree with someone’s view, explain briefly why you agree and contribute your thoughts as well. And if you disagree, remember to explain why you disagree and suggest an alternative as well.
 

Be patient:

 
Before you jump to comment, take time to read through the entire thread and make sure to go through everyone’s comments.
 

Follow instructions:

 
Nothing urks the instructor more than the student who has clearly failed to read the instructions. If the professor has set a word limit, remember to stick to the word count. If you have to quote something from a magazine or book, remember to cite the article or book. This helps to avoid plagiarism.
 

Don’t forget your manners:

 
Typing in caps is a big no-no. It is tantamount to yelling and should always be avoided. Similarly, do not use internet slang such as lol, rofl, etc. Or make use of emoticons. They make you sound immature and are not a part of academics.
 

Be very careful when you use humor or sarcasm:

 
Your humor may be lost in the comments and can be construed in the wrong sense. Without nonverbal cues you effective communication can be a problem. This is especially true for students from a different culture.