Communicating With Your Classmates

Open Forums

Each course module will have a page posted at the beginning of the week with a link to a GoogleDoc called Open Forum. Students can use this document to talk about the class and help each other with any questions that might come up while working on the module. The course instructor or teaching assistant will monitor the forum, but it really is a place for you and the other students in this course to have academic conversations, pose and answer questions, and provide support to each other. If the class discovers that many students are needing help with something, one of you can send an email asking the instructor to log in to the forum to give the group some guidance.

Discussion Boards

Students are required to participate in ALL online discussions assigned to them by their Virtual Academy instructors. Discussion Boards are created so that students and teachers can have meaningful and timely conversations about the material being studied. The value of these digital discussions to the student who is taking an online course cannot be overstated. These opportunities to process the material by interacting with fellow classmates, and to form a collaborative community that is focused on achieving the goals of the course, are both significant reasons students should make it a priority to fully take part in these conversations. Research shows that students learning is enhanced through online discussions and chats, which is why they are included in online learning platforms at every grade level. 

When responding to the assigned prompts, always go beyond simply answering the question. Your goal should be to stimulate further thought and discussion. When replying to the posts made by your classmates, make an honest effort to engage with them in a conversational manner, advancing the discussion in thoughtful and unpredictable ways. There are many examples throughout history where written correspondences between great minds led to the development of important philosophies and life-changing discoveries. Strive to be a valuable participant when invited to join in a Discussion Board conversation, advancing knowledge and understanding as a member of the Virtual Academy community.