Magna On-Demand Seminars

Seven Ways to Facilitate Effective Online Discussions

Gain a variety of strategies to create discussion board activities that your students find interesting and also strategies to effectively facilitate discussions and manage the workload related to reading and grading posts.

Seven discussion bubbles appear above individuals' phones

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If you’re having trouble getting students to engage in online discussions, perhaps it’s time to rethink how you use the tool.

Meaningful online discussions that promote learning and build community don’t happen spontaneously. They require careful planning, good questioning techniques, and strong instructor presence.

The formulaic read-post-and-respond approach can ultimately make discussions feel like busywork, rather than a valuable learning activity. Students get bored, the comments become repetitive, and instructors feel overwhelmed by the number of posts they need to review.

Order the Seven Ways to Facilitate Effective Online Discussions online seminar, presented by Brian Udermann, PhD. You’ll explore these problems candidly and learn solutions that you can use to draw students in and sustain a lively online learning environment.


Online discussions can be a rewarding way for students to engage with their instructor, other students, and the course material. Successfully integrating this teaching tool without turning off students is a whole other story.

This presentation will help you improve the quality of your discussion boards and enhance online student engagement.

In this online seminar, you’ll learn:

  • The special challenges that online discussions present
  • Strategies for making discussions captivating
  • Various methods for engaging students and holding their attention
  • How online discussions can increase student retention rates

Udermann draws on his 20 years of experience in online education to provide personal anecdotes and practical examples illustrating practical strategies that will engage rather than repel students

Learning Goals

This presentation equips you with a better understanding of how online discussions can work for students and how to overcome potential obstacles confidently and efficiently.

Upon completion of this seminar, you’ll be able to:

  • Articulate the benefits that online discussions provide
  • Recognize possible problems before they flare up and address them proactively
  • Gain strategies for making online discussions engaging for your students
  • Critique and grade posts efficiently and promptly

Topics Covered

This presentation will explore some common challenges to every online discussion, such as poor student participation or students who try to hijack the discussion, and reveal classroom-tested strategies for managing a rewarding discussion.

You’ll also learn how effective online discussions can spur student achievement and ensure high enrollment and retention rates.


School personnel with a fundamental- to intermediate-level eLearning background who are looking for ways to improve their online discussions will gain valuable insights from this presentation, particularly:

  • Instructional designers
  • Instructional technologists
  • eLearning specialists
  • Curriculum development specialists
  • Faculty members in any department
  • Program directors
  • Directors of online education
  • Directors of eLearning
  • Department chairs


Online discussions can deepen the quality of students’ education and open up new learning vistas. They can also be challenging tools to manage and master. Register today to see how to enhance them for your pedagogical goals.

Product Code: QC17EA

Campus Access License

With the purchase of the optional Campus Access License, registrants are granted a license to download the program contents to a password-protected network, server, or website for additional staff use. You will receive information on downloading the contents of the program within 3-5 business days after payment has been received by Magna.

Meet Your Presenter

Seven discussion bubbles appear above individuals' phones

Purchase Options

*On-demand access begins on date of purchase.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may cancel the order within 30 days of purchase and receive a full refund.

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