Discussion questions (DQ’s) are intended to make students think. The subject of the DQ’s normally deals with the class material and will help test the students learning and understanding. Most class participation is in response to other student’s answers to DQ’s or other responses. The message group threads for DQ’s can become quite large depending on the size of the class.
DQ’s are either contained in the syllabus or assigned on a weekly basis. Most professors impose a minimum word count on the answers to DQ’s, typically in the 200 to 500-word range. Students are required to answer the DQ’s by a specific day in the week.
Some professors will require students to research their answers and some will not. Research activity always means the student must search for relative content outside the provided texts and the students must cite their sources to build credibility for the response.
My DQ strategy was to post my answers to all the assigned DQ’s by the third day of the class week. This eliminated the panic that would occur after putting off answering the questions then realizing on the last day of the class week that there was a weekly requirement that I had not met.
I never read or responded to another students’ DQ until I had answered the question myself. This was a sort of anti-plagiarism mechanism.