Luckily, we’re in the web 2.0 era when e-learning doesn’t have to mean solitary learning. Using online courseware coupled with discussion forums, students can “utter” and “argue freely according to conscience” as Milton believed is so necessary. Discussion forums are a revolutionary pedagogical tool, and a space for students to voice their opinions amongst their peers while using online courseware.
Forums allow for more democratic and sophisticated debates. For example, online courseware students who might normally feel self-conscious in front of groups are given an opportunity to discuss learning content without feeling shy. Another type of student who is often left behind in face-to-face discussions are more pragmatic students, who take a little more time to develop counterpoints. In discussion forums, all students are given a platform to contribute to a group conversation in a thoughtful, well-developed way.
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