Here's the dinner party break down:
Just as each dinner party is as unique as both the host and the participants, so too will discussions change and adapt to the individuals in the course. With a little planning and getting to know the "dinner guests" each faculty member can "host" amazing online discussions.
The Dinner Party: The Host’s Actions….
- Welcome EVERYONE personally at the door. (Online forum)
- Make sure every person feels comfortable in the new environment. (Tone)
- Don’t ignore anyone. (Reply to each student throughout the course)
- Disagreements are phrased professionally.
- No one should be silent, including the host! (Be present in forums)
- Serve them something delicious. (Content!)
- Invite them back! (To weekly forums, to the next assignment even if they’ve faltered on the previous one, to the university if they’ve finished your course)
- Proportionate time with every guest. (Don’t reply to the same students every time)
- Spend extra time with needy guests. (Struggling students)
- Don’t talk all at once, spread the conversation throughout the party. (Post on various days, keeping the volume consistent)
- Start up a new conversation when one is stale! (Add a relevant link to a current event to discuss)
- Hosts are visible, immediately attend to guests’ needs, personable, and proactively plan for a great evening!