Discussion Board Responding
"The art of discussion board writing is to keep the conversation going."
"The purpose of posting is to add value to the conversation."
"This is a discussion board, not a dart board!"
"Be a conscious poster."
Normal practice on the discussion board involves both initiating and replying. Each kind of post has its own purpose and nature. Let's think here about those situations in which you are asked to reply to posts by others.
In general, your goal in replying to others should be:
- to keep the conversation going
How can you achieve these goals? By being aware of the kinds of posts that tend to be dead-end conversation-stoppers, and by being aware of a hierarchy of value within the kinds of posts that stimulate conversation.
- to add value to the conversation
If you are conscious of the options in replying, conscious of what best helps the community learn, conscious of the skills you should be practicing for the future, then we will all get more out of the discussion board.
So, in order to better achieve the goals of reply posts:
See the next file for some examples of the different options for response posts you can make!
- avoid a pattern of always shotgunning spontaneous responses
- think about the range of response options you have
- among those options, recognize what is your "typical" response
- among those options, vary the kinds of replies you make
- strive for a decent percentage of responses with higher value
- make sure that your reply begins with a transition from the host post(s)