OUT Online: Using the Blackboard Discussion Board to Nurture Diversity
Presented by Daisy Breneman
Encouraging conversations on the Blackboard Discussion board helps create an inclusive, engaging, and diverse discourse community in the traditional classroom. Not only does the discussion board offer opportunities for quieter students to be heard, it also offers a unique outlet for students with disabilities, nontraditional students, LGBT students, and students from diverse ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds to share their ideas. When used in conjunction with a strong face-to-face community, the discussion board can create a safe space for students to share ideas and to make connections between the course material and their own lives. The discussion board can help students explore, nourish, and share their unique identities and understand the richness and power of a diverse discourse community. The presentation will explore ways instructors can effectively employ the discussion board to create a strong community of learners, and will actively encourage participants to consider ways to apply the discussion board to their own classrooms in order to nurture diversity and strengthen the classroom and campus community.
Daisy L. Breneman is a part-time faculty member with Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication and University Advising. A writing instructor since 2001, her research interests include scholarship of teaching and learning, first-year writing, general education, diversity in the classroom, and race, class, gender, and sexuality studies.