Meaningful thought sharing in asynchronous, self-paced course

I have a unique quandary that I´m hoping the great minds at eLearning heroes will be willing to weigh in on. 

I´ve been tasked with how to add engagement to an asynchronous, self-paced course. We may add SL interactions, but the part I´m intrigued by goes beyond SL. How to generate meaningful discussion when students are completing objectives at different times. I´m thinking the key will be to create thought provoking individual activities since synchronous discussion isn´t an option; however, I´m wondering if anyone has any input on how thought sharing could take place in this context.

4 Replies
Bob S

Hi Nadia,

Have you thought about having learners do some light peer review of each other's work?

This sort of thing is pretty common in async courses at the university level. Often students are asked to choose one classmate's answer/response to a certain assignment and detail what they found helpful, or what they disagree with, etc.  It's pretty effective for generating participation and differing opinions in a semi-structured way.

Nadia Zaid

Thanks for your input Bob. This is something I´ve thought of, but I´m stuck on how to get more than one-off responses since the students aren´t completing the course modules at the same time. I´ve reviewed the discussion boards in our beta course and IF a student responds to another student, there´s typically only one exchange- Student A posts, Student B responds, end of dialogue. We could suggest students respond to 2 or 3 other students which might generate more discussion. I´ve read a ton of articles on best practices for discussion boards but nothing I´ve found addresses self-paced courses.

The best thing I´ve coming up with is seeing if we can create spontaneous discussion groups of students who complete each segment within a few days or a week of each other. Not sure what this would entail logistically and technologically.