A thoughtful submission on our anonymous student satisfaction survey:
I think discussion board participation should be a mandatory component of all online classes. In the first class I took I wasn’t really fond of the idea, but after taking another class with no communication requirement I actually missed it. Even if the dialog seems a bit contrived I see great value in encouraging students to communicate. It could be as simple as having everyone introduce themselves and talk about why they’re taking the course. Looking back at everything I learned when I completed my first Bachelor degree I think that the social skills you develop (or hone) along the way are every bit as important as the curriculum. With the increasing prevalence of technology in our education system today I think interpersonal development is even more critical.