Once your students have made crucial in-class connections, online spaces can be used to promote deeper discussion while also providing opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and leadership.
Students have a chance to select their discussion topics, practice their question skills, and experience the process of leading effective conversations about complex issues.
EP-trained faculty members have used a variety of platforms and tools to reinforce reflective practices, prompt in-depth discussions, and help students share personal experiences, including:
- Email listservs
- Online message boards
- Private groups on Facebook
- New messaging apps (such as Voicethread)
- Google hangouts
Digital discussions are stronger when they're grounded in real-life connections. You might consider launching the online component mid-semester, once students have had a chance to get to know one another. That way, they bring more context to those online conversations.