Posted by Debby on 3rd December and posted in Teaching and Learning

I get to go to CUE! It’s one of my favorite conferences. They accepted my presentation idea so that means the registration is waived. I just need to figure out a place to stay and a food budget and I’m on my way 🙂 

Here’s the 100 word abstract: 

How do you manage discussions in large online sections? How do you connect students to each other and help them “stick” with the course? How do you keep your sanity when juggling dozens of students? Start by going in circles!


Class discussions bring the content to life and give students an opportunity to develop higher-order thinking skills. They are a vital and dynamic part of most online courses. With shrinking budgets and bigger class sizes, online teachers are faced with the challenge of trying to coordinate and engage large numbers of students in class discussion forums. The reality is that students get overwhelmed by so many posts and often fall behind in that area, just to survive. If you’ve ever been confronted with a couple of hundred messages in a discussion because you haven’t checked for two days, you’ll understand what that means!  

“Learning circles” are groups of 8-15 students, set up at the beginning of the course as a discussion, study, and built-in support group. LCs empower students to make close personal connections to others in the class and help them engage with the content through managed discussion opportunities. Through creative strategies, LC discussions can give students a valuable feedback loop as they develop their ideas and projects. The key words to LC success are “engagement”, “participation”, and “communication”!

PDF of presentation idea: [2012_12_02_cuePDF]

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