Practitioner Enquiry

 David Grant
Personal Tutor and teacher of Perspectives on Science

Online Discussion Forum (ODF) – a tool for supporting student learning and personal development
·         Discussion is a key feature of much teaching and learning across the curriculum
·         Face-to-face discussions are often dominated by more confident students
·         Face-to-face discussions do not always provide sufficient reflection time for students to participate with well considered, and well argued responses
Key Actions
·         Provide opportunities both inside and outside the lesson in my own subject for students to develop their debating skills using ODF
·         Provide support for other teachers wishing to explore the use of ODF in their own lessons
·         Experiment with the use of ODF to support student research for their University applications
Key Findings
·         ODF seem to enable quieter students to express their ideas more confidently than in class
·         ODF can encourage students to discuss their ideas in depth outside the formal lesson environment
·         The teacher’s role in the ODF can have beneficial and negative effects
·         For an ODF to succeed the participants need to perceive a significant benefit to them (“What’s in it for me?”)

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