Answer: What role or purpose do discussion forums serve in the online classroom and are they effective? How do discussion forums function as a teaching tool? How could they be used effectively and ineffectively? What are some best practices for facilitating forums online?

Discussion forums are an excellent place for students to interact with one another as well as the current text or lesson being taught. That being said, discussion forums are only meaningful if the prompt is specific, engaging, and relevant. With those three characteristics in play, discussion forums can be an effective teaching tool. As a best practice, teachers must frequently monitor the discussion boards to ensure that students are “playing fairly” and adhering to the class’s rules as well as the rules that govern digital learning.