Meaningful, interesting and perhaps challenging comments from participants make a step change in any course experience in Curatr.
If there’s one rule we follow at HT2 Labs to achieve these sort of comments, it is this: Consider setting a Discussion Point, every time.
Not all content requires an area for user generated content, but Curatr is at its most effective when course creators really want to drive social discussion. With this in mind, if you do allow comments for an object, we strongly suggest you consider the benefit of also setting a discussion point.
Deeper internal analysis of user generated content has shown that the discussion point is essential in shaping the quality of user contributions. A discussion points should scaffold the conversation – what is it you want to be discussed alongside a particular piece of content?
There are a huge range of methods you can use to generate a meaningful learning discussion, but here’s our top suggestions:
The content in a social learning experience is just the start; it’s the trigger. In most business contexts we want to move our end users on from learning about a new technique, model or product and on to contemplating how they would apply (or already apply) this new insight into their everyday lives.
Asking a discussion point along the lines of ‘how have you used xyz in your job role previously‘, starts to solicit rich examples of the practices already going on in your business. Challenging people on why ‘xyz won’t work in our business‘ (even if you think it will) gives people the chance to argue ‘the other side’ of an example.
Generating a debate
Creating a deliberately divisive discussion point – ‘all swans are black’ – can get some course participants very engaged (and a little riled up!). You can challenge your users to defend one side of the debate or another, and ultimately to challenge others with an opposing point of view.
Playing a game
Want to embed a message within content? Try getting your class participants to be reflective of the message they just heard – in a challenging way. A best practice in this regard is to use the ‘three word challenge’, where people are asked to summarise the article or video in three words. You may be surprised at some of the responses you get back to this prompt!
Turn the tables
Instead of posing a question/challenge directly to the participants, ask them to write their own question in relating to the content they have just seen. Encouraging this sort of creativity provides an opportunity for a deeper level of thinking on their part.
Once they have posed their question, suggest to them they should look at the questions posed by another participant and answer that...more bang for your buck that way!