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Samples for Discussion (Board) Based Teaching and Learning

Here, you'll find sample discussion questions, and DB forum prompts, as well as resources for more information.

Sample 1 – Self introduction to kick off socializing and community building

Creating a DB for student self-introduction is a good start for community building and encouraging socializing. Students can share personal interests, professional background, and course expectations. They can have casual conversations and discover similarities and know other peers in a professional and personal level. By asking a student's course expectations, faculty can tailor course contents or adjust focuses to meet their learning needs. These DBs could be text-based or media enriched.

Sample A.

Self-Introduction Message (Week 0, 10 points)
Provide a short introduction about yourself and get to know others. Tell us about your major, background, interests, and any other things that you would like to share with us. What do you believe your communication strengths and weaknesses are, and what do you hope to gain from this course?
(Source: BIS605-Online-0522)

Sample B.

Self-Introduction (Week 1; 5 points)
Record a 1-3 minute video sharing what self-determination means to you and post it to this forum by Friday of Week 1.

  • Consider sharing what you believe makes a person self-determined and how you developed those skills.
  • Consider sharing an experience where you demonstrated self-determination skills.
(Source: SPE650-Online-0523)


Sample 2 – Sharing information as community building

This optional DB encourages students to share information and resources related to the course. Students can have informal conversations on current news and discuss their personal real-world experiences.

The Watercooler
Did you find a recent article in the news or have experience in or outside of work that is relevant to class?  Post it here.  This is an open, ungraded (i.e., totally optional) forum for sharing thoughts and ideas that pertain to selecting and evaluating employees.
(Source: BIS525-Revision-0125)

Sample 3 – Helping & problem solving as a learning community

This extra credit DB encourages students to ask questions, seek assistance, help each other, and solve problems together. The knowledge exchange among students is the core of a learning community.

Extra Credit Opportunity #1: Q&As
Have a question or need help on a lab or your project? Post your question or problem to this forum. If you know the answer to a question, please contribute a reply and provide assistance to help others. You will receive up to 5 bonus points for each assistance you provide (with a maximum total of 20 bonus points).
(Source: BIS525-Revision-0125)

Sample 4 – Supporting function to another class activity

These DBs support the process of a different activity in the class. The process is open and efficient with little upkeep.

Sample A.

Twitter Handle
Sign up for Twitter. Post Twitter handle on this discussion board. Follow your classmates, and me (@HumistonJon), on Twitter. Send an introductory tweet using the #EDL763 hashtag.
(Source: EDL763-19700-22367232)

Sample B.

Sign Up for a Week (Week 1)
Enter this forum and reply to a thread to sign up for a week in the Discussion Board Activity - Statistics Exists in Everyday Life.
If there are already four people who replied and signed up for a week, you must choose and sign up for a different week.
(Source: BUS300-Online-0123)

Sample 5 – Learning objective: Remembering & understanding

The open-ended questions allow students to demonstrate the remembering and understanding of course content in a small group format.

Week 1 DB: Disability Explained (20 points)
Post your responses under your group's thread.

  • What does disability mean to you?
  • What is your definition of disability?
  • How did you come to understand disability this way?
  • What experience do you have with a disability?
  • Why did you decide to take this course?

Original response due by Wednesday at 11:59 PM.

Two responses due by Sunday at 11:59 PM (but it is better for the conversation if you post earlier).
(Source: SPE210WI-Online-0125)

Sample 6 – Learning objective: Understanding & applying

These DBs closely connect to course contents. The questions are designed to let students demonstrate the understanding and applying of the course content.

Sample A.

Week 6 Discussion (20pts): Creative Thinking

  • Read Chapter: 12, Developing New Products
  • View Video Title: IDEO, an Innovative Design Company (below)
  • View Video Title: How to Build Your Creative Confidence TedTalk (below) 
This week we will learn about the new product development process by examining how IDEO teaches design teams to create new products by building on the design and ideas of others (remember teams are integral to business, and it's one reason you see so many team projects in business classes). 

  1. Compare the new product development process in your textbook (and/or podcast lecture) to the one described by Kelly in the video. How are they alike, and how are they different?
  2. How does segmentation/targeting fit into the new product design process (last week's topic)
  3. How does the PEST-C fit into the design process? 
(Source: MKT300-Revision-0724)


Sample B.

Week 4 - Balanced Fashion
Complete this Discussion Board for the Balanced Fashion Activity. Complete three posts by 11:59 pm on Wednesday. Click on Create Thread to start your initial post. After submitting yours, you will be able to view others and respond to two posts of your classmates.

  • Conduct an analysis of a current year fashion collection, using information presented from Chapter 5 related to Balance.
  • Choose an image or images of fashion from any gender category and season of the current year that demonstrate the achievement of visual Balance. You must use an image or images with a minimum of three different looks shown.
  • Explain in detail using terminology from the reading and narrated lecture to justify your choice.
  • Insert your image(s) directly into your first post, along with two robust paragraphs of written content. Then respond to two posts of your classmates.
In addition, use the provided FMD141 Online Discussion Board Rubric as a guide.
(Source: FMD141-Revision-0125)


Sample 7 – Learning objective: Applying

This DB provides a scenario so students can practice applying the steps they learn from the course content. They also review other’s work and offer suggestions with rationales.

Week 4 Discussion (10 points) - Intake interviewing
Today you will be meeting with Sharon, a 32-year-old African American female who has expressed increased anxiety and depression due to her husband filing for divorce.  She states she is having trouble sleeping, eating and concentrating at work.  She reports increased crying and a sense of "not being herself".
For this graded discussion, provide the following:

  • Detail the methods you will use to prepare for your initial assessment with Sharon. What assessments will you select? What is your rationale for selecting the assessment?
  • What cultural and ethically relevant considerations need to be made in this case?
  • What will you need to confirm about the assessment before administering it to Sharon?
  • Create a detailed transcript whereby you will introduce the testing process and explain to Sharon what and how her results will be utilized. Be sure to address ethical aspects related to administering and assessing the test results. For example:

    • YOU: Hello, I am your assessment counselor and today I will explain the test process & answer any questions you have.
    • Client: Ok, that sounds fine.
    • YOU: To begin, I want to discuss XXXXX
Read and respond to at least one peer.  Include at least one additional suggestion for an assessment measure for Sharon and provide a rationale for why you are making the suggestion.
(Source: CED640-Revision-0523)


Sample 8 – Learning objective: Analyzing & evaluating

This DB allows students to analyze and evaluate a simulation case. Students also have a chance to review different programs from peers and evaluate their effectiveness.

ICT Mgmt Simulation #1 (Week 1; 4 points)      
Read through the materials under "Discussion Board Simulation Materials".  Find which program you've been assigned to and explore how your program is represented (or not represented) on the City of Mt. Pleasant's official website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  After your exploration, please answer the following questions in your initial post: 

  • Based on the course readings, how effective are the city's website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed?  
  • Is your program being displayed effectively on these online interfaces?  What could be done to improve your program's presence on these sites?  
  • How could your program better communicate its mission, performance, and needs to the public, other programs, and city policymakers?
In your response to another student's post, critically evaluate another program's answers to these questions.  Based on the course readings, are such answers leading to a more effective online presence?
(Source: PAD585-Online-0124)


Sample 9 – Learning objective: Evaluating & creating

Students write a draft paper and then conduct peer critique in small groups. Feedback received from peers can help improve the quality of their final paper.

DIP DB: Rough Draft & Peer Review Feedback (5 points)
Read the instructions under "Disability Inquiry Project". Post your work under your group's thread.
Share your Rough Draft:

  • Post a copy of your rough draft by replying to your group's thread (for the peer review activity next week) by 11:59PM ending on Sunday of Week 4.
  • Don't forget to submit a copy to the instructor via the submission link too!

Post your Peer Review Feedback:

  • Complete the peer review of another student's rough draft by 11:59PM ending on Sunday of Week 5.
  • To make sure everyone receives peer feedback, please select and review the student who has not yet received feedback.
  • Post your review feedback by directly replying to the student's message.
  • Don't forget to submit a copy to the instructor via the submission link too!

View grading rubric under "My Grades & Feedback".
(Source: SPE210WI-Online-0125)

Sample 10 – Learning objective: Creating

A small group of students work together to create a presentation and a lab activity. They also lead the DB by helping other students learn the content and completing the lab activity.

DB #1 (35 points)         
Follow the detailed instructions under "Group Project". This is #3 of the group project.  View the grading rubrics under "My Grades & Feedback".

  • Group 1 Presenters: Post your presentation and lab activity by the ending Sunday of Week 1 at 11:59PM AND facilitating this forum throughout Week 2.
Other Students: View the presentation and complete the lab activity. Post your takeaways & questions by Wednesday at 11:59PM AND your evidence of lab completion by ending Sunday of Week 2.
(Source: BIS525-Revision-0125)


Sample 11 – Learning objective: Evaluating

In Sample A, students evaluate their own learning outcomes in video format. In Sample B, students post their group presentation and role-play recording for peer evaluation.

Sample A.

Take-Away Video (100 pts, graduate students only)
Graduate Students – Please read the instruction under “Key Take-Aways”. Post to this forum by Wednesday of Week 7 and reply by the end of Week 7. View the grading rubric under "My Grades & Feedback".
Undergraduates – feel free to view the videos and comment if you wish.
(Source: MSA510-Revision-0124)

Sample B.

DB #5 (Week 8; 6 points)
REMINDER! Follow the instructions and post a copy of your group's Critical incident with Role Play AND Educational Issues Presentations to this forum. We will use them for the discussion activity in Week 8. Please include your group number in the subject/title and all the members' names in the message.

Respond to the following prompt AFTER reviewing your classmates’ Critical Incident Presentations and their Educational Issue Presentations (posted in this forum). Comment on at least three Critical Incident Presentations and three Educational Issue Presentations. Please choose presentations that have not yet been reviewed or that have the fewest reviews:

  • For each PowerPoint you review, provide a thoughtful reflection about the work your classmates have done and your perspective on its utility for the school counselors. 
  • Please be considerate and respectful in your feedback.
(Source: CED645-Online-0924)


Sample 12 – Discussion board instruction and grading rubric

View sample files of Discussion Board Instructions and their respective Grading Rubrics. (CMICH Login Required)

Resources and references


  • Anderson, Lorin W., and David R. Krathwohl, eds. 2001. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
  • Ajayi, L. (2009). An Exploration of Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions of Learning to Teach while Using Asynchronous Discussion Board. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(2), 86-100.
  • Covelli, B. (2017). Online Discussion Boards: The Practice of Building Community for Adult Learners. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 65(2), 139-145.
  • Horstmanshof, L., & Brownie, S. (2013). A scaffolded approach to Discussion Board use for formative assessment of academic writing skills. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(1), 61-73.
  • Li, F., & Liu, Y. (2018). Can Using a Discussion-board Enhance Writing Practice for EAP/ESL Students? Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 8(5), 467-474.
  • Morrison, Jennifer R, Watson, Ginger S, & Morrison, Gary R. (2012). Comparison of Restricted and Traditional Discussion Boards on Student Critical Thinking. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(3), 167-176.
  • Osborne, D., Byrne, J., Massey, D., & Johnston, A. (2018). Use of online asynchronous discussion boards to engage students, enhance critical thinking, and foster staff-student/student-student collaboration: A mixed-method study. Nurse Education Today, 70, 40-46.

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