Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mini Conference Ideas

I am thinking of running the mini conference about Online Discussion Forums. I have used a lot of different online application as a student and as well as a staff. I have discovered that there is a very less usage of discusion boards /Forums.

I have used Blackboard discussion Board- and i think it is a very useful tool in elearning. I would like to see why people arent using the discussion Board - or discussion forums.
I am not sure what should I call my conference - Discussion Board is specific to black board. but is simliar to any online forum or blog - where people are able to discuss ideas , projects etc and get feedback from others.

Should I generalise it to any online discussion forum, or make it a specific application like Blackboard - Discussion bord and stick to it. Just trying not to make the topic too broad.
These are my ideas... Please feel free to give me some comments.

Krishan Mani


  1. Left my comments on the course wiki:

  2. Krishan,

    I think the size of the group accessing the forum is important. I use to have 100+ students on my courses in the UK, and the associated discussion boards were very active.
    With the small groups at MIT, I find that no-one dares to be the first one to post even when you try to "force" them to post something.
    I think that there might be something in the NZ psyche that make people consider that asking a question is a sign of weakness.
    The other issue is that if you need to follow up the message board for 5 groups in Blackboard, you need to open 5 browser windows, as it does not seem to be possible to get alerts send to you when a message is posted.
    I have this year used Google group with one group with mixed success (big progress!). This makes me think that the interface itself for the message board is important.

  3. I had far more success generating discussion when I used a blog as a LMS...students found a lot easier and logical to follow than the BB discussion forum