Good Teaching Practice #2 – students working together

Develop Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Students need to learn to share ideas and react to the thinking of others in a healthy and respectful way. Students need to connect to learning as a group and in a collaborative way. Learning is enhanced when it’s more like a team effort than a solo race.

How would you do this in an online environment such as Angel?

  • Use and encourage students to post and reply to discussion forums.
  • Provide clear guidelines on the type of posts and respect you require – give examples.
  • Give students examples of the quality of posts you’d like AND types of replies.  It might be worthwhile to show both good and bad examples.
  • Be sure your students know how to use a discussion forum and provide a practice one at the beginning of your course.
  • Provide good questions to start off discussion forums. Instead of “What did you think of chapter 1?” a better question might be “How do the author’s views of child rearing compare with how you were raised, and how you would raise your own children?”
  • Create teams within Angel and set up discussion forums for individual teams to share thoughts and documents among themselves.
  • Let students peer edit each others documents.
  • Create rubrics for students to evaluate each other’s documents or discussion forum posts.  Let them evaluate each other’s work.
  • Did you know that Angel has a chat feature?
  • Encourage students to have a “buddy” in each course – someone they can contact if needed.

Need more ideas?


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