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Building confidence in using online forums
Building confidence in using online forums

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1 Participating in online forums means reading too

First, think about what ‘participating’ and ‘interacting’ on online learning forums means. Although much of this session focuses on strategies for writing your forum posts, there is another important activity involved. That, of course, is reading forum posts. When you read posts on an online learning forum, you are very much participating, as there may be several ways in which your reading influences your learning and enjoyment of a course or module.

For example, reading online learning forum posts:

  • introduces you to the tutor and other participants in your group
  • clarifies your understanding of something
  • helps you feel less isolated
  • encourages you to find out more about a topic or concept
  • can give you a different view of an issue.

Therefore, you will probably read what is on forums – and so participate – before you even consider writing your own post. However, it might feel like a big step going from reading posts to writing them.