Remote learning has transformed how students participate in class. The shift to virtual environments has introduced students to online skills, such as using Google Classroom to foster online discussion. Although some may consider online discussion self-explanatory, many students need structure to successfully master this skill.
Building skills for effective online discussion begins with helping students understand my expectations and the structure to complete the assignment successfully. Therefore, I have developed the following Google Classroom Discussion Organization tool to help students:
- Brainstorm ideas
- Write an effective response
- Edit their responses
- Respond to classmates
Tip: It might be helpful to share an individual copy of this document with each student so that they can edit, add text, and check off each box on the checklist!
Click here for your own copy!
First, students begin with copying and pasting the discussion question in the document. Then, students brainstorm their ideas, based on what they know or their thoughts. I like to emphasize that this does not have to be in order! Plus, it might be helpful for students to use tools like Voice Typing to get their thoughts on paper. Writing Response
Next, students begin writing their responses. When students are finished, they have a checklist to ensure that they have followed instructions, checked their grammar and spelling, and completed the assignment to the best of their ability.
Responses to Classmate
Finally, I have found that students need a framework for responding to classmates. I enjoy using the TAG framework, which I originally found in a Seesaw webinar. You can read more here. Students tell what they liked, ask a question, and give a suggestion.
Online communication is quickly becoming an important workplace skill, as electronic communication increasingly becomes a staple in face-to-face and virtual environments. Therefore, it is important to prepare our students to organize their thoughts through electronic discussion. Providing students with a framework and expectations for electronic communication is an important skill we can all use to prepare our students for success inside the classroom and in the future workforce.
Matt Bergman (2021)
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