A discussion board is a safe space that students can use to further probe into classroom content. Online discussion forums have helped many students in different ways with regard to their overall classroom participation. Discussion posts can promote collaboration among members as well as allow students to explore topics, questions, and/or issues more proactively. Thus, the reason why it’s vital that you know the different parts of a discussion post and how you can use them to make your contributions more effective.
Discussion boards also always make the perfect forum for students to employ internet resources. By this, we mean that some discussion forums allow its members to include hyperlinks and cite sources to relevant content. And the fact that online discussion boards are asynchronous makes them the best tool for sparking conversations. Truthfully, there are some conversations that you cannot find within the physical classroom environment. An online discussion forum provides the freedom to allow students to open up more.
That said, here is a more detailed overview of the key parts of a discussion post that you should know:
Key Parts of a Discussion Post
An online discussion forum can be a sticking point, especially for students, since it doesn’t always have an easy pattern for composing it. It’s, therefore, vital that you learn these parts of a discussion post in advance before you even start posting conversation in your online forum. If not, then there’s a high probability that you may end up posting irrelevant content or miss a few guidelines on the way.
A good discussion post should ebb and flow as the topic of discussion dictates without falling out of topic. Ideally, you will realize that some results require more critical analysis, whereas others will be more open-ended. Whatever the case, if you employ these parts of a discussion post effectively, then you can have a much more productive discussion forum.
Summary of Results
this section of the discussion often aims to remind the members of the forum of key results relating to the topic in question. However, you must remember to avoid posting too extensive summaries in this section. If possible, try to keep this part of the discussion to a minimum. You can expound more on them later on in the discussion.
Ensure, therefore, that you try for a more direct, succinct recap that will help the readers avoid flipping back to your results section. It’s often more helpful to reiterate key points and numbers here. Often, this part of the discussion post isn’t even written in full sentences. Later on, you will have to use it as a bridge into a more critical analysis of your results. Also, remember not to bring up any new results in this part of the discussion. Stick to your current findings at this point.
Critical Analysis of Results
As one of the most critical parts of a discussion post, this section requires you to submit more detailed results. Here’s where you will now have to provide a more detailed and specific description of your findings. You want other members in the group to understand what your findings actually mean. Your analysis should, therefore, focus more on unexpected but particularly important or unusual results. At the same time, you will have to analyze the meaning of your findings to other members of the group.
Your analysis should also highlight any new relationships, trends, or knowledge that you uncovered from the research. Remember, also, to list any possible alternative explanations to your results that you might have uncovered with a rationale for why you excluded them as possibilities. Remember to be as detailed as possible.
Relate Your Results to The Field
In this section, you will be required to compare your findings to previous studies if available. These can be the results that prompted even more questions as you did your assignment. Being an online discussion forum, your work is only a small section of a much larger whole. It’s, therefore, always important that you let other students know where your work falls in that larger whole. Your findings should also easily integrate into the whole picture and flow with other members’ findings.
This part of the discussion post also allows you to describe any generalizations that you may have about your assignment.
Speculate Beyond Current Knowledge
As an open learning platform, online discussion forums allow students to speculate more on their studies. Discussion forums let you explore beyond your current knowledge and venture into a world full of unknowns. This section, therefore, allows you to indicate others can apply your findings beyond current knowledge limits. You can always include possible new insights or develop new hypotheses about the topic in question. There’s virtually no limit to what you can write here, provides it sticks within your current topic.
Speculate about how your results can fit into a much bigger picture. Can your results be related or applied to the field? Can it be logically supported by your research? If so, how can it be applied? These are just a few of the questions that you should ask yourself here in order to complete this section.
This part of the discussion post is meant more as a conclusive summary of what you got form your findings. It should help other members also get from where they are concerning the topic, to where you are, or where you want them to be. This is where you should also make a note of any questions that you may still have about your research. Ask other members of the discussion if they can come up with responses or resolutions to your queries. Occasionally, you will find other students who will provide you with other possible routes for your results.
Finally, remember to bring up any possible applications for your results. Remember, however, to stick within the realms of your topic of study. You don’t want to be too far off-topic.
How to Write an Effective Discussion Post
Using the parts of a discussion post mentioned above, you can now compose some of the best posts overall. Ideally, it takes time and practice to perfect your posts and make them more op-topic. By this stage, you probably already know that there’s no hand-raising when using online classrooms. There’s no vigorous head nodding as an agreement to a great point made by a classmate. You cannot approach your professor after a lecture as it is with a physical classroom.
However, when used appropriately, online discussion posts are an excellent tool for both students and instructors. These forums can help students to connect more with their course classmates, instructors, and courses being taught. Students can actually learn more from online discussions than from other parts of the course if they work as intended.
To make that possible, here are some expert tips on how you can ace your online discussion board sessions:
Use Directions to Organize Thoughts
One of the most important parts of a discussion post is the directions provided by the instructor. Unlike in a face-to-face conversation where you can jump from one topic to another, writing sessions are much stricter. Composing a discussion post doesn’t provide you with the luxury to jump from one topic to another. You must stick to the topic in question lest you end up confusing other members in the forum. Ensure, therefore, refrain from presenting jumbled ideas. It’s imperative that you compose organized discussion posts as if it were any other formal writing.
Syllabuses typically outline specific instructions and directions that govern how online discussions are used. As a result, it’s imperative that you read all directions carefully before you send any post. Some instructors outline how often you can post in the forum, what you can include in each contribution and the word limit for all responses. Only by following the instructor’s directions will you improve your final grades. Otherwise, none of the time and energy that you invest in your post will mean anything if you don’t stick to the instructions.
Say Something Substantive
In as much as your opinion always matters in online discussions, it’s still important that you have substantive opinions. This also forms a significant basis in the parts of a discussion post. Always try to back up all your opinions and post with facts and evidence. Citing sources from both inside and outside classroom materials can also help to stem plagiarism. Remember, it’s vital that you make your argument look more legitimate and on-topic. This is the surest way to earn more points with your instructor.
Discussion boards are meant to be conversational. This means that each post a member submits should build on a previous comment or lead to new conversations. Submit posts that other members can build and expand on or use as reference material.
Students always have a habit of writing and submitting their discussion posts right at the deadline. However, striving just to beat the deadline often results in the production and submission of poor-quality work. If everybody decided to procrastinate at the deadline and only work to beat deadlines, we would be in a lot of trouble.
With regards to discussion posts, writing your posts at last-minute often affects the quality of the entire conversation. More often than not, your contribution to the post will be very surface level. It won’t delve anywhere close to where you want it to be. A thoughtful and informative discussion requires a significant amount of time and effort invested in it.
Ask A Question If You Don’t Understand A Concept
It’s always okay to ask a question if you don’t understand a concept or if you are stumped on a particular topic. Help is always just an email away if you want to have a more private conversation with your professor. Better still, you can always ask for help from your online discussion forum. There are also several resources available that you can use if you hit a roadblock with your assignment. Course community forums are another excellent resource that students can use to ask for clarity on any assignments that they have.
Several parts of a discussion post will require that you invest time in research. This is often a requirement discussion posts. Your research should only always include course materials unless otherwise instructed by your professor. Of course, you can also research for external sources such as the library databases. It’s also important that you always remember to integrate and cite all your research with relevant sources. Remember, those parts of a discussion post also form part of academic writing. They must, therefore, be properly cited.
Remember Your Manners
An online discussion forum is a space where students discuss academic issues with an instructor. As a result, you must always remember to stay as respectful as you can with how you use your words and how you address other members in the post. Also, the tones of different forums always vary. Some may be formal, while others are semi-formal. Remember, however, that this is an academic forum. So, your writing should be as formal as you can make it.
Your writing can tell a lot about your personality. Think of the discussion board as a global classroom. Here, you will interact with members from different backgrounds and upbringings. Therefore, while communication styles may vary from one discussion forum to the next, you should always remember to stick the communication guidelines of the forum that you are using at that time. It’s about respect and courtesy. You should learn to consider other people’s feelings, values, and cultures when using discussion boards. This forms the basis of all parts of a discussion post.
Understanding Discussion Posts and Their Role in Your Studies
A discussion forum is basically a virtual bulletin board where members can start or join conversations on different topics. In this case, an academic discussion forum is meant for academic discussions. The online course environment provides students with the opportunity to learn and interact with one another and their professors outside of the physical classrooms. Here, you can ask your instructor or classmates a question or request for assistance or feedback.
Discussion posts are often mandatory in online classes. And the more active you are in your online discussions, the more likely you will score higher grades. The grading system of discussion posts also differs from one instructor and course to another. For instance, the grading might depend on the amount of detail that you put into your posts. The lengths of your posts can also impact your grades. Your level of participation is, therefore, your best move at acing your exams.
Fortunately, there are several academic writing services that can help you with your discussion posts. Assignwriters.com ranks as the best academic writing website that incorporates all the parts of a discussion post to make every post complete. You never have to worry about you’re your discussion post being too shallow or offensive. Assign Writers has a team of certified, professional writers who work round the clock to ensure that you get the best finished products.
Discussion posts are often meant to help students to reflect thoughtfully on their coursework and exchange ideas with their colleagues. As a class, you can benefit a lot from using online discussion forums. But discussion boards are also only as good when you put in the effort to use them appropriately. Submitting posts last-minute that are sloppy, inaccurate, unclear, and inaccurate will help no one. If anything, these actions will only end up hurting your grades.
Basically, online discussion posts work like this; if someone asks you a question, it’s courteous that you respond to them. If your post is inaccurate, you can ask your colleagues for help or further clarification to point out the inaccuracy. It’s also your responsibility to post all your responses on tine and in the correct format.
Instructors will always comment wherever they deem appropriate of their input is necessary. Your instructor can also point our inaccuracies in your responses and help lead discussions to their conclusions. Having read this section of the excerpt, you should have a much better understanding of discussion posts and how they can be handy, especially for students.
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From the above excerpt, it’s evident that online discussion forums are an effective tool, especially for students who are looking to bolster their academic grades. When used appropriately, active participation in online discussion forums can help you with your coursework. However, you must be willing and ready to participate as an active member of your discussion committee. These parts of a discussion post should help you get started.