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Section 4.2 Facilitating Effective Online Discussions

Alfred Rovai (2007) asserts online courses must be designed to facilitate forums that engage students in productive discussions. The online classroom design should contain discussion forums that foster a sense community. “The online instructor plays a crucial role in maintaining and sustaining students’ motivational levels” (p. 79). Discussion forums provide students the opportunity to interact with one another, fostering group cohesiveness and camaraderie. The instructor should have a presence, but should not dominate the discussion forums. The following components can help the online instructor construct effective online discussions (Rovai, pp. 79-83):


Table 4.1 Online Discussion Rubric (Rovai, 2007, p. 80)