Sometimes it's that ridiculous discussion board!by Penny Paper on 01/19/13
Let's be honest--the discussion board can ruin your life! How many postings per week? How many replies?
Sometimes a few lines from you are enough to get by--and then you just have to answer the questions.
Sometimes you have to do a write-up based on some readings--so then you have to figure out how to handle the weekly/daily reading assignment and then write about it.
I have to say that I cannot always help you with that--but a lot of times I can edit them so they sound good when you post them. Of course, this does require some planning ahead.
If you have a mini-case study or scenario where you have to post a page or two, I can help you out in those situations if you send the questions along.
Discussion boards are tricky and they come in various forms. Sometimes they are very consistent in certain schools like Walden or Phoenix where the coursework is more controlled. However, some online courses have a character of their own if they are managed by instructors with a little bit of individuality and the authority to design their own classes. This can be a good thing or it can be a very bad thing. Like any college class, it is truly "the luck of the draw," and it is a good idea to get a feel for the situation as soon as possible. One way to find out is by emailing the instructor to see how fast they answer and to find out how flexible they are.
If the instructor has the authority to make decisions, you can usually sense it through their friendliness and their interest in seeing what you need for support so you learn better. If it's a cookie-cutter class where it's all about uploading and downloading according to a certain rubric, you might get a very short & unfriendly reply or you won't hear much back at all.
It's a sad state of affairs.
However, if you make a good assessment of the situation in the beginning, you'll have a better idea of what to do and how to deal with it as you go along. Most folks have to "learn how to take an online class" so they can succeed at them. It's a strange kind of skill, but it is becoming a more important skill as time goes on!
Stay tuned for more if you want help with succeeding in attaining an "online education." Sometimes the directions they give and the real truth are not exactly the same thing....