Life got hectic after I had children, so I decided to try going to school online. It was an exciting time for me and I was eager to get started. There was only one aspect of my online classes that I completely dreaded every semester, and that was the discussion boards. I just didn’t understand why discussion posts were a requirement. In a regular classroom setting at a big university, many students are never forced to participate, I thought to myself.
I went into it with a terrible attitude, so I failed miserably. I waited until the last minute to post my responses and I only wrote a few sentences in response to my fellow classmates’ posts – way below the minimum requirement. I never received full points for my responses and I was consistently disappointed in my work.
Recently, I’ve been trying to be more positive about everything in my life and see every challenge as an opportunity for personal growth. I started to look at the discussion questions as an opportunity to improve my writing and research skills. I decided to make all of my responses the best that I possibly could.
I researched my answers and I took my time coming up with composed responses, and I received full credit for all of my discussion posts in all of my classes.
If you’re struggling to write your discussion posts, try following these steps:
1. Engage daily
It’s important to stay active on the discussion boards for each of your classes. Try to go online daily and respond to your instructors and peers. This will help you become more comfortable sharing and engaging with others in your class.
2. Start early
Some responses might require research and that takes time. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead. Set aside a few hours to work on your response so that you are not rushing to get it done at the last minute.
3. Plan your response
I recommend creating an outline for your response before you post. This will help you formulate your thoughts so that your response is clear, concise and well-developed.
4. Support your points
Always find references from the text or outside sources to support your key points. This will show your instructor that you have taken the time to think about your response and that you have a strong grasp on the material.
5. Interact with others
Don’t do the bare minimum. Take the opportunity to engage with your classmates and share your thoughts and questions with others. Engaging in discussions allows you to explore different points of view while honing your writing skills.
These steps have truly helped me become a better writer and improve my participation grades. I plan to graduate from Herzing’s medical billing and coding program in August 2020, and I’ve realized that with every challenge I overcome, I am one step closer to my goal.