J. Bonner

Central Washington University (UNITED STATES)
Discussion questions in an online course are there to encourage conversation and exploration of concepts. The design of discussion questions present challenges to student and faculty engagement. Accepted practice in discussion question design is that discussion is centered on a topic of the course and thereby can limit conversation. By focusing on one topic, the question may not have breadth to encourage a lot of diverse opinions and conversation. This challenge is especially daunting in an accounting course where discussion can become very stale after a few students post a response. Second, discussion questions in an online course have grading based on quantitative and qualitative measures. Quantity is driven by how often a student and faculty posts replies to the discussion prompts, and the qualitative measure is driven by subjective metrics. This research examines alternative methods for developing discussion questions for online courses in accounting that promote creativity, promote examination of more of the reading materials and other resources, and increase engagement of both faculty and student in a numbers based course.