Student Forums are wonderful and extremely helpful (don’t laugh, I swear it’s true) but if you don’t use them, they’re either 1) just there or 2) the emails you get because of them are the absolute bane of your existence.
So what is a student forum and why is there a need for one?
It’s basically like this but… “on the line” 😉 (name that movie reference!)
A student forum basically is an online tool that will enable you to discuss topics related to your course with students and staff in the course with you. In some subjects, discussion forums are used for graded assessment tasks so it’s very important that students are familiar with how to navigate and use this tool effectively.
In our case, everything is basically just on LMS. Almost always, the forum is found in the Subject Information tab.
So how does it work?
Well basically, someone puts up a question or inquiry about something related to the course. Everyone gets to read it and everyone also gets a chance to answer it. If you know the answer, never be afraid to reply. If you don’t, you can reply with an affirmative that you, too, are wondering the same thing or you can thank the beings out there that this person asked something instead of you doing the work (haha, i’m kidding).
For student forums to be successful though, everyone (or the majority) has to participate. I know it’s not easy putting yourself out there but at the end of the day, either people were probably asking the same question in their heads or someone answers you and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Two rules to live by:
Stay relevant to the course. Ask (and show and post) meaningful things that will not only be helpful to you but also to your fellow students. Student forums are on there to talk about the subject and things related to it. As much as we’d love to hear about your scheduling problems… A student forum isn’t really the best place to air that out. (Maybe try stalkerspace? Haha!)
Don’t be rude. This is a cardinal rule in life so of course it applies to student forums. Everyone’s trying hard and everyone’s at different levels and paces in their understanding of the course and what it entails. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.
Anyway, this all leads me to a challenge for you. Participate in your subject’s student forum today! Ask a question! Answer someone’s question! Put up something interesting that’s in conjunction with your course! Once you get over the hurdle of participating for the first time… handling student forums will come easy to you!