Using D2L Discussions Forums to support students application of course content

From WSU Technology Knowledge Base
Jump to: navigation, search


This article describes the methods used by Dr. Rita Rahoi-Gilchrest, WSU Professor in Communication Studies to implement a D2L Discussion Forum and is intended for instructors interested in replicating the activity in their own courses. Rita's experiences with course Discussion Forums are referenced in her fall 2010 Faculty Exchange interview. Rita asks students to participate in 5 of 24 chapter discussion topics during the course of the semester. Twelve topics are available during the first half of the term and another 12 during the second half. Students can chose the topics and the time during the during which they prefer to participate. Students receive 0 to 5 points per discussion topic based on fullness of response and insight. They can post a direct response to the topic or a reply to another student’s post.


  • Develop instructional strategy and design. Rita introduces the chapter discussion topics in the syllabus and at the beginning of the course. In her introduction to the activity Rita uses data to support the benefits of contributing to these forums in terms of skills learned and proven success outcomes on class tests.
  • Establish a D2L Discussion Forum. Rita establishes a series of chapter discussion topics that have resonated with her students in the past and then makes these available as the course progresses. She has complete control of the activation of the D2L the Discussion Forum and Topics as they emerge throughout the semester.


  • Rita periodically checks the forum during the semester. She will bring up posts during class to highlight a concept that is emerging and that drive the students to reflect deeper.
  • Expectations of quantity and quality of student participation are careful described in the syllabus and summarized by her accessible phrase guides them to a civil and reasoned discourse with depth of insight.



Related Articles

Learn More About Discussion Technology

Learn More About Facilitating Class Discussion

Learn More About Collaborative Learning