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Let’s discuss discussion boards—online discussion boards, that is. Now I don’t know about you, but I am still pretty new to the Blackboard program. So when my professor told us we would be doing discussions every week, I was a little confused. When my profession logged on and showed us the discussion board,  I finally understood what she was talking about. Now every week, we log on to Blackboard and have a class discussion.

Each week my professor comes up with a prompt for what we should discuss, and surprisingly, we have very in depth virtual conversations. When I have questions, I ask them in the discussion board, and someone always answers. Sometimes, they reply with a response to my question, but other times, they just let me know that they are confused too which actually makes me feel better knowing I am not alone in my troubles.

The discussion board also makes us feel closer as a class. Instead of only speaking to each other twice a week when we actually have class, we speak multiple times during the week through the discussion board. Classes can always be uncomfortable and awkward, even when you have been in them for months, but somehow the discussion board helps alleviate the awkwardness. who might have some anxiety about asking questions or making comments in front of their peers can find a more comfortable place to contribute on the discussion board;  the anonymity of technology allows them to ask the questions they are too afraid to in person.

The discussion board also helps our professor;  it becomes apparent through our discussions which topics we still need to work on. When she sees that we have all been asking questions on the same thing or say we do not understand something, she makes sure to cover it next class.

After using the discussion board so much in my math class, I started using the discussion in some of my other classes. When I had an exam coming up in one of my classes, a bunch of us made a discussion so that we could all help with any questions we still had. I find the discussion board to be much more effective than calling or texting or Snapchatting a friend from class because through Blackboard, you can reach all your classmates at once. And I don’t know about you, but I usually  only have one or two numbers of people in each of my classes. So if they do not know the answer to my question, I am in trouble. The discussion board helps you connect with everyone in your class in one organized module.

The discussion board has helped me get through Math 117 thus far, and helped me in some other classes as well. I think all professors should look into incorporating discussion boards, and if your professor does not know about them, show them this post!

Cassidy Colbert

I am a 19-year-old lifelong resident of Damascus, Maryland. I am in my 3rd semester as a part-time student at MC. I plan on getting my Associates Degree in the next couple of years and then transferring to the University of Maryland at the Universities at Shady Grove (health permitting).

MC has been my academic home for the past year and I could not be happier. I started off my collegiate experience at Salisbury University in the fall of 2015, but due to my Chronic Lyme Disease, I was forced to drop out. I thought my academic life was over, as I was too ill to handle a full course-load, but that is when I discovered the part-time option at MC. MC gave the choice to take as many, or as few classes as I wanted, and because of this, I am now back on track to getting my degree. MC also offered me disability support services to further assist me in accomplishing my dreams.

I hope that this blog can help other students like me to see that even though they may not be taking the “traditional” route towards higher education, MC offers load of opportunities that will get us where we want to go. Whether you aren’t sure where you want to end up in life, or have another obstacle, like a chronic illness or disability, you can still reach for the stars and accomplish anything they want to here at MC. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Cassidy, I recall a couple years ago when I started to take classes again, and realizing if I wanted online, I had to use Blackboard. I was really scared – can you teach an old dog new tricks 🙂 However, I quickly got the hang of it all. Online classes still challenge me because I think I learn more easily by hearing; however, it is so convenient to take the class when your time allows. I also found ‘group’ or team projects a little frustrating. I find I usually end up being ‘leader’ to get it off the ground, whereas in a face to face class, this may not be the case and you also get a vibe of the team that you cannot get online. In any event, in person and online both have their strengths and weaknesses so it’s good to be able to choose what works best for you.

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