Writing a Discussion Board Post that Exceeds Expectations

The Discussion Board post in the online classroom is the equivalent to a conversation in the residential classroom.  Your posts provide the instructor and classmates with an impression of you and your knowledge about the topics in the class.  Here are a few tips to help you improve your posts. 

  • Prepare – Read the discussion board question and make sure you understand what is being asked of you.  Are you being asked to share your opinion?  Or, should you be providing information from outside resources?  It is important to take the time to read the textbook, additional links, or information provided within that unit. 
  • Purpose – Write your post with a purpose.  Well written discussion board posts can include an introductory sentence that provides the reader with an overview of your thoughts, opinion, or answer to the initial question.  Continuing on to include the supporting information such as information from the textbook or a website and conclude your post with a strong sentence that summarizes your ideas.  It is important to demonstrate the knowledge that you have about the topic. 
  •  How does this relate? – Connecting your discussion board to the real world brings the material to “life” and helps other students to see how the information is utilized.  For example, if your discussion board question relates to developing a marketing plan and you work in the marketing field, what could you share?  What are the latest trends in the field? 
  • Is this a Writing class?  – While you may be taking an IT or Business class, proper grammar, punctuation, and formatting on your discussion boards posts is important.  Writing is our primary form of communication in online courses and your fellow students and instructors will appreciate your attention to these details.
  • Connect with your classmates – All students bring a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics to an online classroom.  If you have knowledge about a topic or concept, be sure to share this information with your fellow classmates.  The relationships built in an online classroom can be as valuable as those created in a traditional classroom. 

The Discussion Board is a valuable tool in online learning and all students are encouraged to continuously work to improve their skills in writing and communicating within each post.