Preparing to Facilitate your Online Chat

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Preparing to Facilitate your Online Chat
The following are directions for preparing to facilitate your portion of the
online chat. Follow the directions to create questions based on your
assigned reading.
By following the Student Directions for an Online Chat Session, you have
prepared a two to three sentence response to your assigned question.
During the online chat, you will pose your assigned question and allow chat
participants to respond in a closed forum. Then you will call for an open forum
and facilitate the chat. To facilitate the chat, you must have thoughtful, probing,
open-ended questions and ideas prepared to engage the participants into digging
deeper into your article topics. Questions should inspire students to engage in
higher-level thinking about the topic and should encourage students to give
opinions, to activate background knowledge and experiences, and to provide
support with details from the content. The questions and comments made to the
students must be positive and encouraging.
The questions can:
 Ask students to respond to different points or statements in the article.
 Pose a question that requires students to take a stance on your topic.
 Pose alternative points of view, asking for opinions or additional ideas.
 Ask students to respond to a particular idea in more detail.
 Ask students to compare multiple ideas.
For more information on developing questions, view the Additional Resources for
Questioning Strategies below.
Develop a list of questions about your particular content to use when facilitating
the chat. Consider the key points about your topics and what the chat
participants may already know about the content. It may be helpful to list the key
ideas and questions to help students reach these ideas. Be creative and be
prepared to introduce new ideas about your topic and probe students’ responses.
*You must use the Virtual Learning Team format to facilitate the chat. However,
during the open forum, you have flexibility to be creative in your use of
questioning strategies.
At the end your facilitation of the chat, prepare to offer closing statements and
congratulate the students on their participation and sharing of ideas.
When you have prepared your questions, move on to the first step under “During
the Chat” in the Student Directions for an Online Chat Session.
Reflect:
 Are your questions directly related to the content?
 Do your questions engage students to dig deeper into the topic?
 Do you have a mixture of general and specific questions?
 Are the questions worded in a positive, encouraging manner?
 Do the questions promote higher-level thinking?
 Do your questions allow students to connect to the content personally?
 Do your questions address key points about your topic?
Additional Resources for Questioning Strategies:
20 Questions for Exploring
http://critical.tamucc.edu/~writing/resources/invent/20qs.htm
This site provides a list of 20 specific questions that are “thought-starters”. The
type of response each question solicits is listed.
Did you ask a good question today? Alternative cognitive and
metacognitive strategies
http://www.standrews.austin.tx.us/library/Questioning.htm
Knowing how to ask good questions enhances your comprehension by focusing
on main ideas and making connections among ideas. This site focuses on 4
types of questioning strategies: Memory, Convergent Thinking, Divergent
Thinking, and Evaluative.
The Major Categories of the Cognitive Domain (Electronic Version)
http://www-ctd.ucsd.edu/hndbk/6CogDmQstrat.html
There are 6 categories that can be tapped into when developing questions. They
are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
When developing questions, you want to make sure to decide what level of
learning you want your students to demonstrate. Focus on the Questioning
Strategies for Organizing Ideas.
Strategies and questions to promote thinking in sose (Electronic Version)
http://homes.jcu.edu.au/~edhm/sose/questions.html
This site contains strategies for questioning during active social investigations.
Useful examples of types of questions can be found by clicking on “All sorts of
questions”.
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