The technical aspect of creating discussion forums in Blackboard is the easy part... the real problem lies in the understanding of why, and how, to embed discussion within course content, and how the tool aligns with learning and teaching e.g. Social Constructivism. Understanding at this level is critical for courses that hope to create and engage in meaningful online discourse.
The session has already generated some interesting discussion, as it encourages reflection upon previous experience, the actual use of the tool alongside teaching styles, as well as some practical aspects to gain experience in creating and using the discussion tool within Blackboard. The session also picks up on Netiquette guidelines and 'what to expect in online discussion', as well as highlighting some key texts around the topics such as; Contingent tutoring, Lurking or Learning?, a Model for eMentoring, and Structuring online discussion for meaningful discourse.
The discussion workshop will run again on the 4th December so contact staff development to register. Also look out for the other workshops that look at the various Blackboard tools in more detail.