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June, 2021

wed23Jun10:00 AM11:00 AMVirtual EventHow to do Discussion Boards, According to StudentsDr. Bethany Schultz, Crystal Nielsen, and Dr. Christa Sandidge, Northwest Nazarene University10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time


This event has ended


Wednesday 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time


Online via Zoom



Webinar Recording

Webinar Recording

Presenter Materials

Presenter Slides

Session Description

Tired of the same old, same old discussion board assignment? This session will rethink the traditional structure of online discussion boards and demonstrate the learning potential of online discussions. Using student voices, this session explores innovative approaches to discussion boards.

Discussion boards have become the bread and butter of online instruction in an attempt to replicate in-class discussions. Despite using best practices, being flexible in structure and formatting, and eliminating them altogether, one institution was craving the same interaction and depth as face-to-face course discussions.

After a series of student interviews on traditional undergraduate student experiences with remote learning due to COVID-19 closures, the presenters came up with alternative ways to format online discussions that make the experience more authentic to its in-person counterpart.

This session explores the current best practices for online discussions, student voices about discussions, and explores new ways of approaching discussion boards. Participants will be exposed to innovative approaches to online discussions and come away with a redesigned discussion assignment.


Dr. Bethany Schultz

Director of Instructional Design & Technology and Assistant Professor, Northwest Nazarene University

Dr. Bethany Schultz serves as the Director of the Center for Instructional Design and Technology at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. She is an experienced grant administrator and educator in blended and online learning in Higher Education and K-12 settings. She has helped build an online general education experience for students at NNU through the development of NNU Online. Previously at NNU, she served as a project manager for a grant-funded center for innovation called the Doceō Center. Overall, Bethany has secured and been a post-award grant administrator of $15 million of projects and initiatives to spur innovation in higher ed and K-12 education through the effective use of technology.

Crystal Nielsen

Instructional Designer & Technologist and Assistant Professor, Northwest Nazarene University

Crystal is NNU’s instructional designer and technologist, collaborating with faculty and adjuncts to teach with learning platforms effectively. Her areas of expertise include designing online courses and making content digitally accessible. In the field since 2003, Crystal earned her MA in educational technology at San Diego State University. For 12 years prior, she was a writer and editor in newspapers and publishing.

Dr. Christa Sandidge

Director of the Center for Professional Development, Northwest Nazarene University

Dr. Christa Sandidge is both the Director of the Center for Professional Development at Northwest Nazarene University and an Assistant Professor in the area of Leadership and Professional Studies. Christa holds an Ed.D in Leadership and Professional Practice. Her primary areas of focus and expertise include online course development, leadership development, and team development. She is strongly committed to improving leaders and teams through professional and leadership development.