Learning to Ace Online Discussions

The online learning platform is constantly changing. Online instructors are constantly reinventing the format and coming up with new ideas to challenge their students. One such way is by having students comment on discussion boards. This helps students form ideas, communicate doubts and concerns, develop critical thinking, and become more open to different perspectives. It also helps students become active and more curious. If you’re an online student, here are some helpful tips to improve your grades in discussion forums.

1. Brush Up on Your Research Skills

If you don’t know a lot about the class material, you’re either not going to participate in the discussions or won’t do it well. The more you read and learn about the class material, the more you’ll know, and the more likely it is that you’ll participate effectively. Knowledge will make you more confident and it will show to both your peers and professors. People will be more likely to respond positively to your contribution, and you may even become the center of discussion, which will be great for your reputation in the class. Get ahead of the curve and read as much about your class material as possible.

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2. Read Your Comment Before Posting

Carefully read the professor’s instructions before participating. Understand the requirements and make sure your comments are in line with the instructions. Check for grammar or spelling mistakes as well as factual errors. You want to ensure that your post is coherent, cohesive, and complete. Being careful is important when it comes to protecting and enhancing your grades. Bring something unique to the post, but make sure it is correct.

3. Mind Your Manners

Discussion forums can quickly become messy if you don’t know the rules of etiquette. Be respectful when sharing your views. If you disagree with someone, you can do so politely and respectfully. Tone down your language, as it can often be easily misinterpreted. Don’t engage in any petty fights, as your professor will find out and dock your points. Ignore people who don’t contribute positively and focus only on what’s going to help you.

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4. Incorporate Outside Resource

Make sure you know the rules of citations. If you do research and quote or paraphrase someone else’s work, you have to credit them. That is how things work in college. It doesn’t take anything away from your comment if it is credited to another researcher. In fact, that shows you have gone above and beyond and done the reading.