Discussion Forum Participation Guidelines - UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health (2023)

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Discussion Forum Participation Guidelines - UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health (2)

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Instructional and Information Systems (IIS)

You are expected to participate in the course Forum. You are also expected to reply to at least two student peers’ postings per discussion board topic. Peer replies should be thoughtful, reflective, and respectful while prompting further discussion using content knowledge, critical thinking skills, questioning, and relevant information of the topic. Review the resources below for guidelines on how to participate in the online forum assignments.

Guidelines for Forum Posts

  • Participate in online forums as you would in constructive, face-to-face discussions. There should be little to no repetition in the initial posts so it is important to get a sense of what is already being discussed before leaping into the discussion.
  • Postings should continue a conversation and provide avenues for additional continuous dialogue. A good post includes:
    • What do you think?
    • What would you do?
    • What problem or challenge will follow the original question?
  • Do not post “I agree,” or similar, statements. Expand by bringing in related examples, concepts, and experiences.
  • Stay on the topic of the thread – do not stray.
  • Indicate the main thought of your post in the subject line.
  • Do not just post a link to another document/source. Provide a synopsis/highlight of the linked reference. Incorporate quotations and include the reference and page numbers, etc.
  • Weave into your posting related prior personal knowledge gained from experience, prior coursework, discussions, or readings.
  • Don’t post just to post. Don’t repeat what has already been stated. Be sure your post addresses a new opinion or thought not yet discussed.
  • Characteristics of quality online discussion postings
    • Substantial – posts should relate to the topic and provide information, opinions, or questions
    • Concise – messages should be clear. Lengthy messages do not get many replies
    • Provocative – prompts others to reply or object
    • Explanatory – explore, explain or expand on a concept of connection
    • Timely – Participate/read the DB regularly and reply in a timely fashion. Posting initial responses by the middle of the week gives other students time to respond.
    • Logical – contain a clearly stated conclusion supported by premises, reason, evidence
    • Grammatical – good, clear, concise post free of typos and fragments (similar to the tone and manner you would use within a professional environment). Do not use all caps.
  • Online communication lacks verbal cues. Respond carefully, be clear, and keep your sentences and posts brief.

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