Participation & Facilitation in Discussion Forums: Self Assessment

PIDP 3250 – Instructional Strategies
Vancouver Community College
Kathryn Truant
March 16, 2018

Facilitation of discussion forums, and contribution to the learning of my classmates

Guiding Questions:

  1. What are the important highlights that I learned about my topics?


Pedagogy: the traditional method of teaching associated with teaching children (instructor directed)

Andragogy:  Teaching adult learners; relevance is a key component

Heutagogy: Self-directed learning

The questions that I posed in this discussion forum focused on heutagogy:  What are some instructional strategies that support self-directed learning (heutagogy?). What are some assessment strategies (formal or informal) for the self-directed learner?
Important Highlights:

  • An instructor becomes a facilitator or an advisor in a self-directed course.
  • Learning outcomes are constant in all three learning methods, but personal goals become more autonomous in a self-directed course.
  • Mid-course self-assessment is a great tool to re-evaluate goals.
  • Rubrics and exemplars are essential for the self-directed learner.

Intellectual Standards:

Eldridge and Paul (2010), argue that intellectual standards measure the quality of thought. There are nine essential intellectual standards (Truant, 2018) used to assess critical thinking. The questions that I posed in this discussion forum focused on creativity: Intellectual standards assess critical thinking, but do intellectual standards foster creativity? Can you think of alternative measures for intellectual standards that foster creativity?

Important Highlights:

  • It is okay to question the source and validity of an intellectual standard.
  • Critical thinking needs to be measured, but learners need to be able to ‘think outside the box’ as well.
  • Preconceptions must never interfere with the creative process.
  • It is okay to redefine problems in novel ways, and take sensible risks in assessing a thought.
  • Others might not initially accept a novel idea; persevere in the face of obstacles.
  1. What did I learns about facilitating a forum?
  • A facilitator needs to thoroughly research the topic and present it in an unbiased manner.
  • When presenting the topic, provide only basic info which encourage participant research.
  • Pose questions that require learners to go beyond defining the topic; pose questions that help learners relate to the topic and apply the topic: follow Bloom’s Taxonomy (University of Waterloo, n.d.).
  • Reply to each individual response, and when applicable summarize key responses.
  • It is okay for a facilitator to request further explanation or clarification from a participant.
  • Be appreciative and respectful of all participants 🙂
  1. What did I do to encourage my classmate’s contributions and participations?
  • I invited and welcomed my classmates to my forums.
  • I asked them intelligent questions.
  • I respectfully awaited their responses.
  • I replied to all responses in a timely manner.
  • I gratefully interpreted their responses and sometimes asked further questions.
  • I graciously acknowledged their responses.
  • I thanked them for their participation.
  1. How and what did I contribute to other discussion forums?

In PIDP 3250, I participated in 25 different discussion forums, and I contributed over 150 forum posts and responses. I often include an applicable resource or link, and always provide positive and honest feedback. Some of my responses are lengthy, most are concise. My PIDP 3250 Discussion Forum posts: (Truant, 2018).

  1. Identify 2 or more things that I learned from the other discussion forums.

I love Vrindavana’s contribution on fostering Flow in the classroom. As an introvert, my biggest fear is standing up in front of a classroom and addressing a group of learners (excerpts in red):

Re: Part 2 by Vrindavana Spencer – Friday, 2 March 2018, 4:17 PM (Spencer, 2018).

I would say there are definitely activities (and ways to frame one’s mind) to experience flow.

Here are some examples from (Phillips, 2013).

“You can best fan the flames of flow by:

  • Aiming to surprise yourself and discovering new things about your abilities and the activity.
  • Choosing an activity that can provide you with new feelings, experiences, and insights, and allowing your feelings and awareness to flow without attempting to interfere.
  • Paying attention to your bodily sensations and posture.
  • Overcoming the urge to stop at every mistake. You are likely to be at your best when you focus on what you want to accomplish or experience and don’t allow mistakes to be distracting.
  • Accepting that physical symptoms of nervousness are normal and will naturally ease off once you get going.
  • Trying to work or play with others.
  • Maintaining your sense of humor.

I found another great resource (about kids, but can be transferred to adult learners): (Suttie, 2012).

To paraphrase:

  1. challenge, but not too much
  2. make material relevant
  3. encourage choice
  4. set clear goals
  5. build positive relationships
  6. foster deep connection
  7. offer hand-on exercises
  8. make ’em laugh

Laura’s contribution to the Learning from Mistakes Forum provides numerous instructional strategies that I will use, and my response to her post reflects sincere appreciation:

Re: Learning from mistakes by Laura Hadwin – Thursday, 8 March 2018, 2:50 PM (Hadwin, 2018)

Hi everyone,

For the first week of the term, I try and do a lot of get-to-know-you/ice-breaker activities, so everyone feels more comfortable with one another. It is great if these can feature low-stake risk-taking, for instance, ‘Two Truths and a Lie’ where learners must select which statement (out of three) is untrue about their peers (For example: I have seen a crocodile in a river; I have ridden a camel; I have climbed a volcano). You could tailor the topic so that it is related to your field. For instance, if I am teaching literature, I ask my learners to create examples about books. Most people get these wrong as no one knows one another, but therefore no one gets worried! This could also be used as a learning opportunity to highlight that a lot of learning involves making (educated) guesses, and that we are often wrong initially, but this encourages us to explore alternative options! If a culture of acceptance surrounding mistakes is created early on, then learners will find taking risks easier.

It is also useful to mention the mistakes that people made before they were successful: (Lindzon, 2016).

I use games (AKA learning activities) a lot in my ESL classes, and here is a link to some templates for popular games: (Teknologic, n.d.).

Re: Learning from mistakes by Kathryn Truant – Thursday, 8 March 2018, 8:53 PM (Truant, 2018).

Wow Laura, I love the Tekhnologic website thanks!!

Also, I’ve played Two Truths and a Lie before in a non-instructional group setting, and I can certainly see its potential as an engaging instructional strategy.

I am seriously getting so much out of these forums,



Submit a mark out of 15 and a rationale as to why this mark out of 15 reflects my learning and my contribution to the learning community (refer to the rubric):

Assignment 3 Rubric

Mark out of 15: 14.5


When referring to the rubric, I gave myself a mark of 14.5 out of 15 because:

  • I adhered to the technical specifications for this assignment.
  • My postings reflect my dedication to all the discussion forums that took place from week 1 to week 8.
  • I provided resources and references.
  • When able, I related or applied questions and responses to my personal experience or professional practice.
  • I applied strategies to engage my learners (see Guiding Questions 2 and 3).
  • Both my forum discussion topics started on the required date.
  • My mid-course self-assessment has been posted (Truant, 2018).
  • Due my lack of professional experience (outside of my current one-on-one training that I do in my current position), I feel like my contribution to the forums were not as perspicacious as my forum mates 🙂

@ Please refer to my Resources page for works cited