Managing Discussions

This section discusses the pedagogy of discussion forums and how to manage them.  It also included sample rubrics for discussion forum grading (on the Examples and Resources section), and FAQs About Discussion Board.

Why Have Online Discussions

Discussions are a way of encouraging students to communicate and collaborate in an online environment. Below you will find some guidelines for participating with students in an online discussion.

1. Full Spectrum Questioning 

Provides questions to deepen discussions and guide students to promote scholarly works and knowledge integration.

2. E-Moderating Guide

Provides more information about discussion board moderation.

As far as assessment of discussions, rubrics are an effective way of providing discussion guidelines and feedback. For more information on that topic, click here.

Additional Resources:

Al-Shalchi, O. N. (2009). The effectiveness and development of online discussion. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 5(1). Retrieved from

Baker, D. L. (2011). Designing and orchestrating online discussions  MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3). Retrieved from

Rovai, A. P. (2007). Facilitating online discussions effectively. Internet and Higher Education, 10(1), 79-88. Retrieved from