Visually-Oriented Discussions with Consistent Instructions

Discussions are an important part of fostering student-student interactions in an online course. After completing the OEI Online Course Review process, Shannon Van Zant, who teaches History at Columbia College, recognized the importance of designing her discussions with clear, consistent instructions. Having the same instructions available to students each week scaffolds their learning and supports them to become confident and independent learners. Shannon, also incorporates images into the prompts of her discussion topics. By integrating images into the textual content of her discussion, she more fully engages the way people learn.

In the 7-minute video below, Shannon shares her experiences with the OEI Online Course Review process and takes us on a tour of her online visual discussions.

2:47: Skip to view the tour of Shannon’s Course

Posted in Articles, Course Design Showcase, Rubric Section A, Rubric Section C.

Shannon teaches History at Columbia College.


    • Hi Carolyn. Thanks for your comment! As you may know, I’ve taught for many years with VoiceThread and am also familiar with Flipgrid. I agree that VoiceThread provides an environment for “visual prompts,” like the one that Shannon demonstrates here in her video. But I’m wondering if you are referencing how these tools give students and instructors the ability to see and hear each other, while maintaining the benefits of asynchronous discussions. Is that what you are referring to? We would love to hear more about your experiences!

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