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Guiding Questions and Rubric for Crafting Online Forums

Why Do This?

Well-designed forums can foster a community of learners, stimulating critical thinking, reflection, collaboration, and consensus building, as well as providing writing practice. As you are writing your online forum discussion questions, ask yourself whether you could select Definitely for all of the elements listed below.

Elements of a strong forum question
Definitely Somewhat Not really
Does this question directly relate to course learning outcomes?      
Do students have the background knowledge needed to answer this question?      
Can the question lead to integration of many theories/concepts?      
Does this question require students to reference the text and/or other resources?      
Will students need to explore outside resources to answer this question?      
Is there more than one answer to the question?      
Will this question invite the sharing of different perspectives?      
Is there room for further contribution if the first responder thoroughly answers the

From: Promoting Critical Thinking through Online Discussion: Developing Questions and Managing Conversations by Christine Harrington Ph.D. and Maya Aloni Ph.D. , Middlesex County College NJ Presented at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching, June 1, 2013 downloaded from: