The traditional classroom setting doesn’t always suit every learning style or personality type. With a blended learning approach, there can be more opportunities for students to feel comfortable and succeed.
Some students have a lot of ideas, but are hesitant to speak up in the classroom. Finding another way to engage them in meaningful dialogue is important. To get them sharing their ideas and expressing their opinions, an online discussion forum might be the answer.
Ideas that don’t come up during face-to-face class time can be posted to an online forum to keep the conversation going outside of school. Students who shy away from speaking up in class might be more comfortable sharing their thoughts online. The back-and-forth interaction in a discussion forum also gives them more time to process information and consider their responses. That helps them share deeper insights as they offer their unique perspective. Teachers who use online discussions are also able to validate student posts, showing interest in their thoughts and encouraging more participation.
Move the Discussion Online
An instructor for example, may prefer to have Socratic seminars in their class, knowing that formal discussions with open-ended questions will help promote their students’ critical thinking. However, it’s also important to recognize that some students are hesitant to share in a traditional classroom setting.
A great solution is to move the discussions online. This allows the students to contribute to a class discussion virtually, without the added pressure and anxiety of having to speak up in class. With the Socratic seminar in mind, the instructor can create a ‘silent debate’ sort of forum to provide an area for these discussions to take place.
The silent debate gives students the opportunity to express their ideas without having to speak up in front of the class. Using this format gives the introvert who needs time to think the ability to participate and still use their voice. Being online can take the fear out of sharing if students aren’t in front of their peers when they’re expressing their ideas.
Take the Fear Out of Sharing
In this forum, students can participate when they’re ready. Students who need more time to formulate responses can access the learning environment outside of class, while others might choose to participate in the moment. This flexibility is good for introverts who enjoy being able to talk to their classmates through the discussion forums.
Fear can be a barrier to meaningful engagement in the classroom. With that barrier eliminated, students are free to express themselves, expand their ability to think, and share critically. Using a strategy like a silent debate forum can open doors for introverted students and open the minds of many others.
If you’re interested in learning more about blended learning, watch this webinar for some tips and tricks from three teachers who used their platform to personalize learning for their students.