Cure Your Discussion Board Blues

Photo of a collection of small cubes with speech bubbles on them

On September 30, 2022, Dr. Laura March and Dr. Catt Friel presented this session on improving online discussion boards at UMSL’s Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Common discussion forum problems: How to identify and address frequent issues that arise surrounding discussion forums, such as low participation, grading concerns, and building community.
  2. Guidance and potential solutions: Specific strategies to enhance the effectiveness of discussion forums.
  3. Interactive and participant-driven: Attendees actively engaged in the session by voting on each topic discussed, making it an interactive and participant-driven session.


  • Dr. Laura March, PhD
  • Dr. Catt Friel, PhD


This presentation covers common discussion forum problems (e.g., participation, grading concerns, building community) and offers guidance and potential solutions. Participants are encouraged to bring their own discussion board prompts, questions, and ideas. The session follows a “choose your own adventure” style agenda, with attendees voting on each topic discussed.

Explore this Presentation




An infographic showing a workflow of how to fix discussion board issues


Laura March

Laura March, Ph.D.

Manager of Instructional Design

Dr. Laura March, Manager of Instructional Design, is a designer, trainer, and web developer with over a decade of experience creating accessible online environments and teaching virtually. Her specialties include universal design, digital literacy, faculty development, educational technology, digital and visual culture, and informal learning.