Annotate PRO: Discussion Moderator Edition
The Discussion Moderator Edition Library (DME) helps teachers get students talking to each other in online discussions more effectively and efficiently.
By pre-writing specific responses to many common situations – from encouragement to community guidelines to Socratic starters to writing mechanics – instructors can guide and engage more efficiently by leveraging proven best practices.
DME features 170+ comments focused on:
- Discussion rules and expectations
- Critical thinking
- Use of evidence
- Deepening the conversation
- Socratic starters
- Community standards
- Content moderation
- Basic writing mechanics
DME even includes sample discussion prompts you can use as catalysts to your own creativity.
DME is free to all AP users – forever-free and paid/site license holders.
The ultimate goal of a discussion board assignment is to get students talking to each other.
How does AP’s Discussion Moderator Edition library help?
By pre-writing many of the responses, encouragements, and constructive criticisms we might share with students, DME both speeds up the instructor’s moderation role and improves the specificity of the interaction.
Instructors respond to students and, if appropriate, can quickly search AP’s DME library for an appropriate comment.
For instance, perhaps a student is employing sarcasm in her replies to others. In a couple of keystrokes the instructor could add the following pre-written text:
I think you’re trying to be sarcastic with this comment, but keep in mind that sarcasm is very hard to convey in writing. It’s best to avoid it because it can easily be misinterpreted.
We challenge any busy instructor to write as coherent and specific a response, at midnight, zooming through a dense online discussion.
Of course any and all comments can be personalized by the instructor to suit their personal style and pedagogy. We’ve included placeholders for many of the standard items instructors may share – office hours, preferred ways of contact etc. Instructors can add their own content.
Here’s AP alongside a discussion in the Canvas LMS:
Annotate PRO can be shown as a sidebar, providing easy and constant access to all your AP content. DME includes 170+ comments with high-frequency ones promoted to be Favorites – the colored buttons running down the side of the page. AP features full-text search as well.
We can see a quick response to the student – added with a single click and ready for further personalization.
Students require some time to start and to feel confident in expressing their views with each other before the instructor begins to interact with them, otherwise they will just reply to the instructor, and not to each other (Wang and Liang, 2011).
How to Add DME to your Annotate PRO account:
From the AP Chrome Extension or Word Add-in:
- Click Edit
- Click Activate Libraries
- You’ll be logged into the AP web experience and taken to a list of all available Libraries. Scroll down to find “Discussion Moderator Edition” and click License Me!
DME will be added to your account and available for immediate customization and use in Canvas, Blackboard, Google Classroom, Schoology, D2L, Microsoft Teams and more.
DME is free to use in AP and you can even export the content to share in other formats. See licensing info below on how to correctly share attribution.
Sources & Inspiration:
- University of Oregon’s Teaching Effectiveness Program (content and principles for discussion, overall guidance)
- 3C&Q Model by Jenn Stewart-Mitchell (source for one comment in Deepening Discussions)
- Chris Street – CSU Fullerton – “Deeper Discussions: How to Create and Sustain Meaningful Interaction in Online Discussions (principles for discussions, overall guidance)
- Dr. Lisa Kidder & Mark Cooper – Idaho State University – Breaking the Humdrum of Post Once & Reply to 2 (inspiration for Editable Example Prompts group)
- Research Based Practices for Improving the Effectiveness of Asynchronous Online Discussions
- LumenLearning Discussion Best Practices: Effective Online Discussions
- Balancing Quality and Workload in Asynchronous Online Discussions: A Win-Win Approach for Students and Instructors
- When to Jump In: The Role of the Instructor in Online Discussion Forum
- Sherry, Michael B. “How to Make Online Discussions Work: Writing to Continue the Conversation.” Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care. February 11, 2019.
- Seward, Dan E. “Conversation Starters: Orchestrating Asynchronous Discussion to Build Academic Community among First-year Writers.” Online Literacies Open Resource. 2017.
- Vivian Jewell. “Continuing the Classroom Community: Suggestions for Using Online Discussion Boards.” English Journal, Volume 94, Number 4, March 2005. Thoughtful use of technology to supplement classroom instruction can improve student learning. High school teacher Vivian Jewell shows how the use of online discussions of literature assignments increases student participation by extending dialogue beyond the physical space and time of a single class.
- Meyer, Katrina A. “Does Feedback Influence Student Postings To Online Discussions?” The Journal of Educators Online 4.1 (2007). 24 May 2007.
- Ugoretz, Joseph. “Two Roads Diverged in a Wood: Productive Digression in Asynchronous Discussion.” Innovate 1(3). 28 March 2007.
- [Old but a great framework] Collison, George et al. Facilitating Online Learning: Effective Strategies for Moderators. Madison: Atwood Publishing, 2000.
- Craig, Gloria. “Evaluating Discussion Forums for Undergraduate and Graduate Students.” Faculty Focus. Feb. 12, 2015.
- Beth René Roepnack. “An Organic and Generative Online Discussion Alternative.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, XXIII, Number 2, Summer 2020.
- Vanessa Paz Dennen. “From Message Posting to Learning Dialogues: Factors affecting learner participation in asynchronous discussion.” Distance Education 26.1 (May 2005): 127-148.
Is DME really free?
Yes. You can use DME with a free AP account.
Some content takes advantage of premium AP features – like forms. In some of the screenshots on this page you’ll see colored Favorite buttons and also custom sorting of Favorites – also premium features.
You can personalize every comment in DME and easily remove the [[double brakets]] that create a fill-in form.
How can I share DME with my colleagues?
If you are a free user simply recommend that they create a forever-free AP account and add DME.
If you teach for an institutional client (check from your Account page) and don’t already have access to DME simply contact 11trees and we’ll work with your organization to make DME available.
Is DME Open Source? What does that mean?
11trees’ Discussion Moderator Edition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You can:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
How can I share a customized version of DME with my colleagues?
Institutions licensing AP for use by multiple instructors can efficiently share custom AP Libraries including DME or a customized version of DME. Contact us to learn more.