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April 25, 2014

Making More Meaningful Discussion Board Posts

PathwayConnect students teach and learn from classmates through discussion boards

If you make heartfelt contributions to the discussion boards and ponder what others have posted, your eyes can be opened to things you haven’t yet experienced or thought about.

The BYU-Idaho Learning Model has three essential parts: Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder and Prove. PathwayConnect courses require students to contribute to a weekly discussion board to share insights with online classmates and to initiate meaningful conversations. In order to teach one another as the Learning Model emphasizes, your discussion board posts should describe your personal learning experiences and the different ways you acquire them.

PathwayConnect provides the unique opportunity to learn from individuals who are in different parts of the world and in different stages of life. If you make heartfelt contributions to the discussion boards and ponder what others have posted, your eyes can be opened to concepts you haven’t yet experienced or thought about.

When to Post:

Always make your initial post on time. Your opinions are important; you never know how what you will say could impact a classmate by changing their perspective or helping them to understand the material better. Posting to the discussion board as early in the week as possible ensures that your post will be seen by others and gives classmates ample time to comment and give feedback.

If you encourage questions, then you have more meat to your discussion.

How to Post:

The discussion boards give every student an equal opportunity to contribute to the learning experience. This provides you with the chance to develop the skills to interact with peers in an academic setting.

While you will have a prompt specifying the content that your post should contain, it’s sometimes difficult to decide how to put your insights down in writing. Sister Brandie Miguel, an instructor for the PathwayConnect Life Skills class, tells her students to pray about the lesson materials before posting to the discussion board. “As an instructor, I always go into my class prayerfully, so I would expect the same from my students,” she said.

Another tip Sister Miguel has for inspiring a more conversational discussion board is to pose a question in the initial post. “If you encourage questions, then you have more meat to your discussion,” she said. “I’ve noticed that when students do that, they get more interaction, which is one of our objectives. It pushes their frame of thinking.”

Sister Rebecca Jensen also teaches Life Skills and said she feels that some of the best discussions incorporate scriptural references or conference talks. “It’s great when students can bring their own experiences to a topic and share personal insights about their testimony of that gospel principle.”

How to Comment:

Even though you don’t talk to online classmates face-to-face, each comment you make should be thought-provoking and introduce some form of discussion — just as if you were in a classroom setting. Sister Miguel says, “If you were sitting in the classroom talking to another student, you wouldn’t just say, ‘Oh that’s a great thought,’ and then walk away. You would expound on what you liked about it.”

Some handy tips to keep in mind while commenting include explaining what you have in common, asking a question about something your classmate said, and responding sincerely.

Each comment you make should be thought-provoking and introduce some discussion.

When commenting on a classmate’s post, it’s good to consider whether your comments are good, better, or best. The best kind of comment would be as follows: “John, I really appreciate what you said about praying every morning that you’ll be able to manage your time wisely. I’ve noticed that when I do that, my day just seems to go smoother and I’m able to accomplish more. I see that you have three kids under the age of five. Do you study at home? How do you find a quiet place to do homework? I have two kids and I’m struggling with that; any advice would be welcome.” This comment not only specifies what you enjoyed about the post, but it also asks a question that will spark a discussion.

Posting meaningful content and making thoughtful comments on others’ posts can be a great opportunity for personal growth. Each person has something to contribute. Moving forward with prayer and reflection will guide us as we aspire to teach and learn from one another.

Comments on "Making More Meaningful Discussion Board Posts"

Fayehun Akinwumi says:

Partway is a wonderful program to behold,an opportunity to connect with local and online group.Partway is the way to go even in this busy world.

Percival Arcibal says:

God bless you in this journey we call life!

Barbara Braden says:

As I think about joining in, I feel the spirit.what are your feelings about this wonderful opportunity?

When my family attended the Pathway meeting, I felt it was something that I really wanted and needed to do. I tried to get my hubby to do it too, but he was not receptive to the idea. However, I feel confident that in the future his attitude will change, especially after he sees how it helps me and my grandson progress!

Susie Frisby says:

Hello, Barbara,
When I first heard about the program a couple of years ago I wanted to join right away but thought I did not qualify for various reasons. But once I learned more about it, and in sharing the news with a friend, I knew I was supposed to do it. I know this is something I should pursue.
My husband and I were invited to serve as facilitators for a group going through the Self-Reliance Service initiative. Again, education was a huge focus for me.
I know Heavenly Father has a plan that includes educated members of His church! Uneducated people can be so limited in His work.
Our fullest potential has a better chance of being obtained (and utilized for good) if we have some education under our belts. It is all for our benefit in the end. I hope you do join and get the most out of it! 🙂

Malia Naeata says:

Is only my one week in pathway connect i just love every minute of it . Knowledge is power this program is truly from our father in heaven i graduated 1990 how i wanted to finish my school but i don’t know where i will have the opportunity but now through this pathway i love to learn from everyone

Daniel Nthengu says:

This program is very nice.i like it and i love it.your knowledge of the scriptures it grows.it has been two weeks now in this program.i have learn a lot.one of the thing i come to understand is the fall of Adam how important it was.as outline in the bible dictionary ‘ fall is the process by which human being becomes mortal’ This process it was God’s plan .in Alma 42;8 it has brought my understanding.

SILIKA YOUNG-SIMILAI says:

When Pathway connect was introduce through the church I had a wonderful feeling of comfort knowing that our leaders love us so much that they have brought school into our homes at such a low cost. With the cost of living now it’s very hard to apply for college online I recently started class with Pathway and it was such a wonderful feeling and yet very challenging because it’s been 22 years since I’ve been out of school. Having five children to care for while in school is hard, but I pray everyday that Heavenly Father to give me the strength to go about my day. Juggling family, work, callings in between is hard but we just need to focus on what we want to always ask Heavenly Father for his guidance and protection, and inviting the holy ghost into our lives will help us make the right decision. Prioritizing is also very important to me that’s what makes my day a little bit easier. Heavenly father truly loves us.

J.A. Banez says:

Thank you for sharing your story Silika. We are glad that you are now taking the time to continue your education even with all the responsibilities that you have. You are a brave mother!

Oduala, Adesanya says:

Having work closely with students as a missionary, I am of the opinion that Pathway has exposed and is exposing many knowledge seeking people to a wonderpul program where they could improve their wealth of knowledge and acquire the basic skills that would help them in the future as they seek employment and further educational attainments. In my judgement, Pathway is a miracle

J.A. Banez says:

It is because of missionaries like you that help PathwayConnect work! Thank you for your service!

Roger says:

I like this opportunity, and I am excited to start this semester.

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