Return to: Student Guidelines for the Classroom
Walden recognizes that online discussion can serve varied curricular and instructional purposes, such as student seminars, role-playing, and review of draft assignments. These varied purposes yield varied requirements for students’ and faculty members’ presence in discussion areas. Walden requires that these varied requirements be explicitly communicated to students and that expectations communicated be fulfilled by both faculty members and students.
Student Discussion Participation
Walden courses are not independent study courses. Substantive student dialogue is an essential part of the learning process. Therefore, Walden courses require consistent, substantive, and timely participation in and contributions to online discussion as described and required in each course syllabus. Students are expected to post online as described in syllabi and discussion prompts. Although the pedagogy may vary from week to week within a course, depending upon the instructional objectives, and from course to course depending upon the educational outcomes to be achieved, the university in general suggests that students’ discussion is enhanced and learning strengthened when postings and discussion are substantive and distributed throughout the week, with 2 to 4 days of participation per week as a minimum.
Failure to post with the expected timeliness, quantity, quality, and frequency of postings as stated in the syllabus, discussion descriptions, and other course materials may result in grade reduction for the discussion. Students should read each syllabus and discussion prompt carefully, as posting requirements may vary across and within courses in order to meet learning goals.
Faculty members will clearly communicate in both the course syllabi and discussion prompts the required posting schedule for discussion. The program director or designee or other designated faculty member within the school who conducts the academic review of the courses will ensure consistency of expectations for student participation among courses offered in the school.
Faculty Members’ Discussion Participation
Walden courses are developed with varied curricular designs and varied instructional strategies in order to meet specific learning goals. Faculty members are expected to continuously monitor online course discussions and to post substantively to discussions as governed by the specific instructional objective of the course in a given week. Course syllabi and discussion prompts are to indicate to students the role faculty members will play in discussion, as well as the timeliness, quantity, quality, and frequency expectations for students’ participation.
Faculty members will clearly communicate in both the course syllabi and discussion prompts the level of their interaction with the discussion as governed by the instructional objective. Such interaction may vary within a course, and that variance will be communicated to students. The program director or designee or other designated faculty member within the school who conducts the academic review of the courses will ensure consistency of faculty members’ participation among courses offered in the school.