A common goal and challenge for online faculty is to increase student participation in online classes. Not only does participation help promote student retention and satisfaction, but it also helps demonstrate student learning and understanding of course concepts. Encouraging student participation involves well-crafted assignments that link learning objectives with appropriate online learning tools. Students need to understand what is expected in an online discussion and how these assignments will be graded to help them meet expectations.
Provide students with some Tips for online classes to get them acclimated to the online environment.
This presentation from the New England Faculty Development Consortium Annual Conference in 2012 highlights best practices for online student participation and ideas about how to engage students using blogs, discussions and online learning journals.Engaging distance learners NEFDC 2012
Writing strong discussion questions can seem daunting. The goal is to stimulate student interest and promote learning. Use this resource from the University of Oregon to get started. Discussion question types University of OR
What is the role of faculty in online discussions? How often should the instructor post? Faculty online posts