Tucker started off by trying to improve her students’ communication skills both online and in-person by using the free online platform Collaborize Classroom, which offers more tools than an average discussion board. The online discussion, debate, and collaboration replaced homework, with assignments like posting a response to the discussion topic and responding to three peers. “It was interesting to see students who don’t engage verbally with their peers be super engaged in the online space,” Tucker said. Once those students found an online voice, she said they participated more in class discussions too.
She also realized that just because students have been exposed to technology at young ages and use it often doesn’t mean they know how to have an appropriate online discussion, a skill Tucker knows they need.