The Art of Online Conversation for TAs (ONLINE COURSE) – October 6 to November 6, 2020

October 6, 2020 @ 12:00 am – 1:00 am
Online course
Teaching Commons

Whether we teach in a traditional face-to-face classroom, a blended environment, or a fully online course, many of us make use of online forums to enhance student learning. Achieving an engaging online discussion, however, is easier said than done! In this fully online course, participants will learn by doing through ongoing participation in weekly discussion forums. We will explore strategies for creating effective prompts, apply best practices for facilitating vibrant and enriching online conversations of all types, and troubleshoot common challenges. We will explore how one’s approach to online discussion changes over the span of a semester- or year-long course, and integrate scholarship on eLearning into our understanding of effective online conversations.

This course is open to all teaching assistants at York and no previous experience with online discussion forums is required. Participants can expect to spend a total of approximately 4-8 hours engaging with course content and activities. The course is designed asynchronously, meaning that while there are weekly deadlines, participants can complete each week’s tasks at any time that is convenient to them. This course is actively facilitated by a Teaching Commons instructor, and participants will be able to ask questions and access further support and resources by email or through the course Moodle at any point.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course, participants will be able to design and facilitate effective, pedagogically informed online discussion forums by:
-Integrating forums meaningfully into online assessment strategies and/or learning activities
-Applying strategies to support community building and/or communication
-Encouraging deeper learning through instructor participation in online forums
-Creating opportunities for students to practice self-directed learning through discussion forums

Course Dates: October 6 – November 6


  • Registration for this course closes on October 4th, 11:59 pm
  • There are limited spaces available, so please let us know if you are unable to participate by emailing so we may offer your spot to someone else
  • If you are unable to register below, please add your name to our WAITLIST so we can contact you when another section opens up.

All required course activities are asynchronous.  Please follow the link to register: REGISTRATION