2. Motivate them. If students are not motivated to participate, they aren’t going to. Some students are intrinsically motivated to participate in course work, but others are not. For most students, you will need something extrinsic to motivate them, like points. Grading student participation in forums is not difficult or incredibly time consuming.
3. Be consistent. Make sure you promote the forums, get excited about them , and use them consistently. You don’t have to use them every single week, but in an online class, you probably should. For a face to face class, use them occasionally if you want, just be consistent with how often, how many points, and your expectations for participation.
4. You participate too. Some instructors think that forums are just for their students. This is such a devastating myth. You will learn so much about them if you also participate. In addition, they will learn more from you as well. An instructor’s voice should be heard about 10 to 20% of any given forum.
If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to check out CISTL workshop offerings. You can also call CISTL to set up an appointment with Angela or Will. Lastly, to learn about how to create, manage and grade in forums, see the Advanced OnCourse tutorials.