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Saturday, April 24, 2021

21 Ways to Structure an Online Discussion, Part Four | Online Student Engagement - Faculty Focus

Five Online Discussion Ideas to Foster Metacognition, as Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux, director of continuing studies at Capilano University reports.

*This is a five-part series. Each Monday, we will be publishing the next consecutive part of the article series. 

In this post, the fourth in a series of five articles describing ideas for structuring an online discussion, we will explore ways to foster metacognition through online discussion.

In Kimberly Tanner’s excellent article, “Promoting Student Metacognition” (Tanner, 2012) Tanner describes the importance of teaching students to think about how they learn so they can become independent learners. The article is a goldmine of concrete strategies and specific questions that instructors can integrate into learning activities to assist learners in developing this skill. Tanner recommends including metacognitive activities before tackling a new topic (giving learners an opportunity to recall what they already know about a topic), during the unit (giving learners the opportunity to reflect on muddiest points and what they still need to learn), and after the content has been taught (to reflect on how learning has changed).

One challenge in integrating metacognitive activities into a discussion is that we do not want the posts to become a reflective journal. A journal is not an appropriate grounds for class discussion because the public nature of a discussion will prohibit candid reflections (learners will be afraid of being judged), and there isn’t ground for debate, disagreement, or otherwise dialoguing with others.

That said, there are ways to integrate reflections about how ideas are being formed and fleshed out that can be included in a discussion activity. Here are suggestions for ways of integrating metacognition into an online discussion:

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Source: Faculty Focus