Discussion forums are central to massive online courses’ learning experience. It is where community interaction happens and students speak with professors or one another. However, if not built properly, forums can be frustrating when you try to find something or have a functional conversation. Humanities-related boards face more challenges than scientific ones wherein students look for sets of right answers.
Considering all of this, edX has added some nice features to their discussion forums. We tried the last version of the Open edX platform at GW Online and we cannot be more pleased –although we found some minor bugs that we reported.
Main changes in the new forums are made to differentiate between “questions” that are meant to be answered authoritatively –requiring the right answers– and “discussions” which are meant to be pursued discursively.