In every tutorial group, there will be those who are happy to say their piece... and others who are decidedly less vocal. Dr Kate McClune, Research Fellow in Old and Middle English at Merton College, wanted to see how an online chatroom on WebLearn could help stimulate discussion and participation in her tutorials. She posted pre- and post-tutorial activities to prime her students for face-to-face debate, and provide a space to continue discussions after the formal scheduled session was over. She moderated the online discussions, and followed up on unresolved matters, as well as posting additional resources for self-directed learning.
The result? There's been a marked improvement in and broadening of debate, both online and off, says Dr McClune.