Anyone using discussion boards in their lessons?  How are you utilizing them in your lessons.  Share, please ...

I have started using discussion boards using Sharepoint to have online literature circles.  Students were placed into small groups, and I set up a discussion board for each group, a "book talk" group that only that particular group (and myself) could access and contribute to. I found many of the students provided much deeper reflections online than they did in the live classroom discussions, which they also engaged in.  It was very interesting to me, because many of the students were much more willing to share details about their lives within the online forum, and draw connections to the novel.  Why do you think this might be?

I'm also interested to hear other ways teachers are using discussion boards in their classrooms...  this experience has made me eager to try other uses for the technology.

Tags: Boards, Discussion boards, Online, Sharepoint, literature circles

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I have been using online discussions as digital Socratic Seminars. I recently wrote a short post about the advantages of online discussions. You can read it on my blog, if you are interested. It can be found HERE.





I like your idea of using online literature circles.  Here are some ways that I've used discussions (I now use Moodle):

  • discussion forum for vocabulary with each word having a separate thread.  Students "reply" with information about the word (picture illustrating it, definition, synonyms, use in a sentence, origin) which results in very rich (and often funny) information about the words (and also a lot more student interest in vocabulary). See:
  • students reflect about their experiences in doing a research project.  Each student had a separate thread in the discussion, writing weekly over a month.  I responded to each, providing specific feedback and ideas.  This improved both student engagement and teacher-student relationships.  See

There are so many ways to use discussions.



Great idea with the vocabulary. I'm going to try that. Thank you so much for sharing.



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