Lively discussions can be difficult to manage through a videoconference interface or with some portion of the class remote, so we recommend scaffolding your discussions with before and after activities to support and focus the synchronous discussion.
For a discussion-based course, we recommend the following basic pattern:
|Week X: [this week’s topic]|
|What we are doing this week (text page)|
|Readings and Materials (links, page ranges, videos, etc.)|
|Pre-discussion Brainstorming (a Discussion)|
|Post-discussion Reflection (a Discussion)|
By providing opportunities to reflect on the material and articulate themselves, both before and after the synchronous discussion, you will increase the effectiveness and focus of your face-to-face time. We recommend using Discussion items rather than Assignment items, so that students will be able to read each other’s thoughts, before and after. Remember that students can record on-the-spot video responses, for their Discussion posts, too!
If you are providing any readings in PDF format, consider adding it as a Perusall assignment, rather than simply linking to the file, so that students can share their annotations, reading notes, and questions with each other there, as well.
Visit Canvas Commons to find a blank discussion-based template to import into your Canvas course.
To import a LSA Template into your Canas course:
View more detailed instructions on how to import a LSA Template into your Canvas course.
If you would like to consult with someone on the best way to use this template for your own course, contact the Learning and Teaching Technology Consultants at LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu.