By Marisa Ruiz, Maryrose Chabaan, and Dajana Radosavljevic

Building Community with Discussion 

As an instructor, you can leverage discussions to build community in digitally enhanced courses. A satisfying digital learning experience includes opportunities for students to interact with their peers and share opinions. Watch the brief video for strategies on how to build a strong online learning community. 

Discussion Design and Facilitation

Engage students in their own learning with discussion prompts designed to get students talking. Guidance and facilitation from faculty should encourage discussion. Watch the video and see the accompanying handout for examples of constructivist approaches to discussion design and facilitation strategies.

Download the handout: Discussion Design in Digitally Enhanced Courses

Additional Resources


  • Carnegie Mellon University, Eberly Center. (2020). Discussions. Retrieved from 
  • Orlando, J., & Magna Publications Inc. (2009). How do I create engaging threaded discussion questions? Madison, WI: Magna Publications. 
  • Song, M. & Yuan, R. (2015). Beyond Social Presence: Increasing Cognitive Presence through Meaningful Interaction. In Proceedings of Global Learn Berlin 2015: Global Conference on Learning and Technology (pp. 731-736). Berlin, Germany: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 19, 2019 from

About the Authors: Marisa Ruiz is an Instructional Design Specialist; Maryrose Chabban is a Senior Instructional Designer; Dajana Radosavljevic is an Instructional Design Specialist; all work at EdPlus at Arizona State University. Special thanks to  Ron Carranza.