Balanced Discourse: Amplifying Voices in the Online Discussion Forum

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Like many other instructors, Professor Julie Oni spent the past few months changing everything about the way she teaches to meet the requirements of remote instruction. While she has faced many joys and frequent challenges along the way, what has impressed her the most has been the awe-inspiring power of online discussion forums. In her online courses, she posts a prompt or question each day, and students must not only post their own response but also reply to each other for full participation. As opposed to a regular classroom or even a Zoom discussion in which the same few students tend to always speak, this format allows each student to share his or her thoughts, and as a result, they have bonded more online than they ever did in person. Especially in a diverse classroom, her students gain confidence in sharing their ideas in great detail in this format, and they are very supportive of each other.

In this session, Professor Oni will share her experiences with her literature and composition courses at Pepperdine University. Her presentation will offer advice and models in forum prompt creation, including anecdotes of student interaction and response, and explain how she utilizes these prompts in conversation with SLOs and works-in-progress.

Professor Julie T. Oni is a Los Angeles-based playwright and English professor. She teaches English Composition, Composition for English Language Learners, American Language and Culture, and Dramatic Literature at Pepperdine University.