APU Careers & Learning Online Learning

Want Interaction? Post to Discussion Boards Early

early-discussion-post-engagementIn online education, the message board is one of the primary forms of classroom interaction. While each class can be unique, most classes go with an approach of each student posting 300 words by Friday, answering an assigned question based on reading and researching. Then each student is required to respond to two to four other students’ posts by Sunday night.

It is important to know that the amount of responses you receive from other students typically has nothing to do with the quality of your posts, but instead it has to do with the day of when you posted it. Meaning, if you post the bare minimum on Monday, you will receive loads of responses, but if you go the extra mile in a detailed post on Friday, you will likely receive little to no responses.

Here is a real-life example in HIST500 — Historical Research Methods, which currently has 16 students.

Two weeks ago, I wrote my post on Monday. I received five student responses.

Last week, I wrote my post on Friday night. I received zero student responses.

One of the beauties of online learning is the amount of student interaction you can get. However, you must give other students time to respond to your posts. Waiting until the last minute is a guarantee that you will get as little interaction as possible.

Perhaps you do not have time during the week and you can only post on Fridays. If that is the case, then consider working ahead. Regardless, post to discussion boards early to get the most out of student interaction.

By Scott Manning
Online Learning Tips, Student Contributor

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