Cyber Cafe

The Cyber Cafe is usually put at the top of the Discussion forum.

The purpose of this discussion is to provide the kind of interchange students might have outside of class. Threads posted in this area allows students time to practice talking to their peers. Your active participation in this helps students build relationships with you and other students, and serves as way for you to model the kinds of behaviors, both scholarly and socially. The instructor needs to carefully monitor this open space to head off any potential conflicts amongst the students. Students need a safe place to ask questions, and if one student has a question, chances are others have the same question.  Answering a question in a public forum covers both the questioner and those who wondered the same thing.  It is a good idea to empower your students that if they see the question first and know the answer, they should feel free to respond.

Use the cyber cafe (or create a another help forum) as a place to get help and build trust. At first, when students ask for help, answer immediately, to show your willingness to be available. As the course goes on stand back and allow the students to support each other. The postings in the help area are generally non controversial and not graded.

This strategy comes under several names, Cyber Cafe, Tea Room and Chat spot to name of few. The purpose of this space is to provide the kind of interchange students might have before and after class. Participation is generally not required in this space, therefore, it is important for the instructor to “seed” the room with topical threads like the weather, sports, campus activities. One colleague started a thread about the student’s opinion on song swapping that generated a lengthy discussion Threads posted in this area allow the students time to practice talking to their peers. Your active participation in this space not only helps the students build a relationship with you and other students, but it also serves as way for you to model the kinds of behaviors, both scholarly and socially. The instructor needs to carefully monitor this open space to head off any potential conflicts amongst the students. . Controlled controversy might be a good moniker for the types of conversations held in this space.

The Cyber Cafe is usually put at the top of the Discussion Board.

Help Area: The help area is focused on building trust. They usually start out with students populating threads with links to good information. As community forms, students will feel more comfortable about admitting a lack of knowledge, and requesting assistance. As an instructor, you can go two ways. By answering immediately, you show your willingness to be available. By standing back, you allow the students to start to become to view each other as supporting and a source of accurate information. The postings in the help area are generally non controversial and not graded

 

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