As a graduate student, I had the opportunity to TA for several online courses through the NC State Department of History. One of my favorite aspects of these online courses were the discussion forums, in which students and teachers could simulate discussions and debates that would usually occur in the classroom setting.
On his website, Professor Richard Slatta includes the following list of benefits of such discussions:
- It helps students explore a diversity of perspectives.
- It increases students’ awareness of and tolerance for ambiguity or complexity.
- It helps students recognize and investigate their assumptions.
- It encourages attentive, respectful listening.
- It develops new appreciation for continuing differences.
- It increases intellectual agility.
- It helps students become connected to a topic.
- It shows respect for students’ voices and experiences.
- It helps students learn the processes and habits of democratic discourse.
- It affirms students as cocreators of knowledge.
- It develops the capacity for the clear communication of ideas and meaning.
- It develops habits of collaborative learning.
- It increases breadth and makes students more empathic.
- It helps students develop skills of synthesis and integration.
- It leads to transformation.
Through the “katieincuba Discussion Forum”, I hope to encourage critical thinking, get people curious, answer questions when I can and speculate elsewhere. If you are curious about a contemporary or historical issue, this is the place to bring it up. There are no rules, just please keep it PG and remember that I will kindly refuse to engage in political discussion.