Forum with moderation
Contribution to the learning process
To see how this is integrated in the FyR-context see "Online cooperation in your river project".
To explore a theme considering all its facets and using interactive learning methodologies.
- Book of the River > My book (login) > our partnerships > Work spaces with partner schools > (select your work space) > Forum
This forum is not open to the public. Only you (and your students) and your partner group have access.
Required time for preparation and realization
Highly dependent on the dynamics of action, e.g. half an hour daily over 1-2 weeks
Students or groups of students from different places
Requirements and preparation
Questions, method, duration and rules should be agreed upon beforehand with all participants either physically or virtually e.g. via E-mail.
- Ensures that rules are adhered to;
- Structures the discussion, e.g. in temporally subsequent phases and/or through threads;
- Encourages and motivates the participants;
- Stimulates discussions with new ideas or questions to provoke thought and debate;
- Maintains the overall direction and structure of the discussion
- Summerizes achievements, previous discussions and decisions.
- Respond appropriately to unforeseen developments.
The tutor writes a statement to begin the discussion ("New entry"): He welcomes the participants and describes the topic and tasks or questions for the discussion.
At any point in time, each participant can read all existing communications and act or react everywhere with his/her own contributions.
Here applies the following guidelines:
- Participants should only remark where he/she can give a relevant contribution;
- Placement of the contribution is important – it should be within the respective thread or directly below the contribution to which it is a reaction.
- Contributions should not be too complex. If an individual wishes to react to several aspects of the current discussion, the contribution should, if possible, be divided into several smaller articles to be placed in the respective threads.
- Using attention grabbing but relevant headlines can generate more interest.
- Friendliness and respect are critical to the success of the activity.with own contributions. This allows a parallel or subsequent treatment of all aspects in depth.
Depending on the intensiveness, duration, and course of the discussion, the forum may be closed with a virtual flashlight. Final decisions may have to be made, - e.g. if the most favoured of several ideas of action have to be chosen - and voting may be used for this. The forum may then be shut down; no new inputs are allowed but the postings can still be viewed.
The tutor writes a summary describing the course of discussions, main lines of argument, results, and consequences and uploads it into the forum.
You might publish Results of the Forum with moderation in your Book of the River, e.g. under Our exploration for the River > Log book or in the fitting parts of Our results and reflections.
Experiences / results
A moderated Forum is a well-tested and standard method of E-learning. It allows variations in terms of didactic by setting appropriate rules and structure for the discussion - even as far as a virtual seminar.
Moderated forums allow participants to develop and formulate their views and thoughts very without being rushed. This may allow the pupils to more easily communication in a foreign language (English). In the meantime, learners can also perform in depth investigations.
A forum with moderation allows a flexible participation, i.e. the different groups need not be working at the PC at the same time. The project’s organization is therefore easier.
APEL (2003, p.105) describes the learning effect in the forum as a "positioned, subjective opening of the collected piles of arguments ("Argumentehaufen")” – meaning that each participant learns something different.
When two partner groups are working in the forum, the participants of each group meet every day. Consequently, , the stimulus for communication in the forum is probably low. The theme therefore must be chosen in such a way that the exchange between the groups plays a leading role. It may be reasonable to separate work with the forum and the school lessons, leaving the forum work as homework or transfering it into project phases where the pupils organize their time more independently.