I have a design / course organization question regarding best practices when representing discussion forums in a course and would like to see what other people are doing:
In the past, our students have had to go to the "Discussions" content area to view and respond to discussion questions for a particular unit. This necessitated that they leave the related unit's folder to view the text of the discussion questions, which were located in the "Description" are of each discussion forum:
I have started to re-design my online courses so that students can view the text of a unit's discussion questions alongside the other materials for each unit. I'm doing this by using "course links" to in each unit folder to create a direct link to each discussion forum and placing the text of the question in the "description" are of the "course link" instead of the actual forum:
In this scenario, students will only see the "Name" of each discussion forum when the visit the "Discussions" content area; they need to access the folder for each unit in order to view the actual discussion questions.
I have in the past duplicated the question in both places (the unit content and the "Discussions" content area), but I've found that this is time-consuming and that faculty will sometimes update a discussion question in one place but not in the other.
This has become a point of contention; some faculty want to keep all of the discussion question in the "Discussions" content area, while I like the idea of displaying the discussion question text alongside other related content (e.g. learning objectives, links to reading material, etc.) for a given unit; see below for a better representation of my current "blank" unit template:
Does the community have a strong preference regarding the placement of discussion questions in a course? Any feedback regarding the benefits of keeping content for a unit in one place to whatever extent is practical?
Any feedback regarding this design question appreciated!