By Travis N Thurston & Erin Wadsworth-Anderson
(@travesty328 & @ewander)
The #DigitalPowerups strategy can provide a new and interesting way for instructors to engage students in higher-order online discussion by humanizing and personalizing the discussion. This strategy should be used to allow students to engage in online discussions in authentic ways. The following resource was created as a way to see what the #DigitalPowerups strategy might look like in practice. Section 1 provides sample text that could be used in the syllabus or course introduction to inform students on the expectations for participating and engaging in the discussion. Section 2 is visual example of what a discussion forum might look like when the #DigitalPowerups strategy has been implemented.
Why Do We Participate in Discussion?
We utilize discussions in asynchronous, online learning spaces to create a sense of community and engagement in the course (Riggs & Linder, 2016). When you're in a face-to-face class and contribute to discussions you are building a community, sharing knowledge and encouraging/challenging your peers and instructor. Discussions are often used in online environments to get you interacting with the course content and it also encourages you to form relationships with other students. Your presence in the course and specifically in the discussion forum changes the space. You have the opportunity to share your insights and experiences as other students do the same.
We will be utilizing the Digital Powerups strategy which gives us a chance to dive deeper, think critically and call on higher-order thinking as we engage in the class discussion. In each of the discussions you will form your posts based on the "Digital Power-ups" from Renegade Leadership which have been scaffolded using Bloom's Revised Taxonomy (Gustafson, 2016, p. 115).
For each discussion forum, your initial post should include 2-3 powerups and your comments to your peers should include 1-2 powerups. Utilizing the digital powerups will not only help you structure your responses, but they will also help us to enrich our discussion boards and use it as a forum to engage in meaningful discourse and allows us to learn from one another.
Typically, you'll need at least 2 or 3 sentences to properly address each of the powerups that you select (or a 2-3 minute video recording). Identify/code/tag your responses by using the appropriate hashtag that corresponds to the digital powerups that you're addressing (EX. #understand How can using digital powerups enrich online discussions?). A list of digital powerups will be included along with instructions on each discussion.
Remember: List or restate something you just read; then, add an opinion in your response. Use #remember
Understand: Ask a question that will help you understand what you read. Allow a peer to respond to your question. Use #understand
Apply: Organize what you read into something new. Include a poem, chart, timeline, diagram, or model in your response. Use #apply
Analyze: Examine a quote you read, and then compare it to a different text. Explain why you think they're related. Use #analyze
Evaluate: Critique something that you read in a respectful manner. Cite text-based evidence in your response. Use #evaluate
Create: Develop a novel response based on what you read using text, video or other supplies to innovate. Use #create
Connect: Connect to an issue outside of your school. Think globally, and share how collaborated in your response (this requires actual action on your part). Use #connect
Sample Discussion Forum
Sample Student Responses