The idea of human beings learning from others via observation and interaction isn't a new one. In fact, it is an age-old known fact. Although, the concept was aptly put into words by the psychologist Albert Bandura. More commonly, we know this concept as 'social learning'. Due to the ongoing pandemic and popularization of remote learning, educationists are looking for innovative ways of reintroducing social learning in online courses. One such brilliant and effective educating tool is the Discussion forum.
What is a Discussion Forum?
Most of us have come across it before. Be it for crowdsourcing or for arguing about our favorite marvel character, discussion forums are an important part of our lives now. Besides just wasting hours on end on Reddit, such forums can also serve productive purposes.
In simple words, a discussion forum is any chat thread where various users contribute their bit on the topic. It enables people to come together virtually and give their two cents. More recently, eLearning platforms are launching this feature for educational reasons. Whereby, learners and experts can remain in touch
Benefits of a Discussion Forum
Effective Peer-to-peer learning
Peer learning is a popular collaborative learning strategy. It enables fellow learners to engage in a meaningful way and provide constructive feedback on their work progress. Moreover, peer learning is vital in the development of critical thinking skills amongst learners. However, to maximize its potential, peer learning works best in conjunction with a discussion forum. It will provide a faster and user-friendly way to communicate with each other.
Interestingly, a lesser-known but equally important use of such forums is informal corporate training. HR managers have lots to take care of and cannot seem to stay on top of all the queries their fellow colleagues have. This is why these forums play an integral role in keeping the organizational community together. People can simply type in their query and others will respond to it there and then.
Grows organizational culture
Furthermore, forums also serve as a more informal-formal communication medium for workers to collaborate and simply chat. It helps create a healthy work environment and workers also feel valued and heard. A healthy work environment means motivated workers and increased work efficiency. When employees do well, companies also generate greater revenues.
Networking is a vital job and life skill in this day and age. To know and connect with the right people can get you places you can not even imagine. The beauty of such forums is that people from all over come together to discuss a particular matter and end up making acquaintances with each other. If used in the right way, users can build lasting and trustworthy bonds via these forums.
Ways to use a Discussion Forum
It is up to you really how you wish to use and explore this awesome tool. However, below are some amazing ways in which one can unleash the full potential of these forums.
As the name suggests, this particular model requires the learners to take the lead. Here, without the initiation or moderation of an instructor, learners come together and start the thread. The instructors can be later added to the discussion for expert help. The basic premise is that learners be independent in communicating their questions and problems with their fellow peers. It develops confidence in them and helps them gell up.
Often we see people hesitate to join an online course because they are uncertain about its contents and use. For this purpose, some instructors have forums where potential learners can have a pre-course session. They can interact with their future batch mates and learn thoroughly about the prospects of the course.
Moreover, these forums can also serve course marketing purposes. Course creators can broadcast these forums and attract potential customers.
Offer mid-course support
This is a blended-learning method whereby learners can keep on top of their course materials without necessarily attending a live session. Often students have other commitments and are unable to join the live sessions. With this, they no longer have to stress over piling tasks and confusion. They can simply hop onto the thread and stay informed about the class progress.
It is stated that nearly 90% of what we learn in a week we forget. Therefore, to ensure that learners retain all the information that too without feeling the burden of keeping up with the materials, the use of this tool is crucial. By participating actively in the threads, people can constantly stay in touch with the learning contents and will retain the information for longer durations.
Sharing knowledge on topics
A major problem with knowledge-sharing in corporations is that it is not recorded and hence is lost. Forums help compile and safe-keep the important tidbits that colleagues share sometimes out of the experience and other times out of the expertise. Not only will they help the present employees but will be available for use for newer lots seek help from.
Indentifying Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
SMEs are experienced and knowledgeable professionals one a key issue or subject area. A useful advantage of using these forums is that help highlight potential SMEs who otherwise go unnoticed in the busy routines of offices. People learn who to seek for certain subjects by routinely making use of these forums. HR managers can use these threads to keep an eye on future SMEs in different departments.
Teachfloor - Your Discussion Forum LMS fix.
Teachfloor is a complete LMS that serves multiple uses. Whether you are pandemic-stricken teachers looking to move online or a training professional seeking a compliant software that offers a seamless formal training virtual environment, Teachfloor has you covered.
Spanning exciting features like collaborative learning integrations: Peer Review and a Discussion wall for forums. Provided users with detailed reports and analytics of classes. Course creators can develop schedules and publish them on their calendar apps to keep track. It also comes with an intensive curriculum builder. Moreover, with its multiple instructor feature, creators can invite collaborators and guest contributors to their courses.
At Teachfloor, you get all this and so much more for considerably affordable rates. Check out our pricing here or you can even request a personalized consultancy.
Brings your virtual interactions to life
Teachfloor truly puts life into your virtual engagements. By offering these seamless collaborative tools to communicate with fellow peers, it diminishes the otherwise long distances amongst users. People can effectively communicate with each other and that too in real-time. No more delays and waiting on responses. Help is now only a click away.
Crowdsource in an easier way
Simply hop on your device and type in your query and the fellow user will get to you. Teachfloor's interface is hassle-free and easy-to-use which encourages more people to break the ice.
Interact with SMEs
Have a question keeping you awake nights? Even Reddit doesn't seem to have the answer? Don't fret. Just get on your Teachfloor thread and send away your problems to the SMEs in your chat threads. It is that simple!
Stay a click away from your instructors
For a lot of you, keeping in touch with your instructors has been more difficult than ever. Thankfully, with the help of such features in our LMS, you can reach out to your instructors easily. Moreover, even long after you are done with your courses, you can still remain in contact with them on the threads.
Until now you may not have known how multipurpose discussion forums can be. They are truly the ultimate teaching/training tool. Statistics show that unfortunately, online courses have a completion rate of merely 20-30%. This is because online remote learning can feel boring and lonely and hence discourages people from pursuing it all the way. By incorporating such collaborative and fun learning tools, the number can easily be improved much more.