How can an instructor or teaching assistant encourage students to answers questions from other students posted in private Q&A online platforms dedicated to the classroom (e.g. Piazza), put aside from adding some percentage of the final grade based on such activities?

  • Why do you want a Q&A? – Anonymous Physicist Nov 1 '15 at 18:12
  • @AnonymousPhysicist Students sometimes ask questions, in the hope of having an answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 1 '15 at 18:12
  • Why online? Why should students answer instead of faculty? – Anonymous Physicist Nov 1 '15 at 18:14
  • @AnonymousPhysicist Online for convenience. Answers from students reduce the load of the teaching staff while being educative for them. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 1 '15 at 18:15
  • 3
    @AnonymousPhysicist Increasing student involvement does not imply decreasing faculty involvement. – JeffE Nov 2 '15 at 11:25

I used Piazza in my undergraduate business and society course last year. Students were required to participate, but I found that if I myself commented on some of their posts and then brought up some of their arguments in class that this encouraged more active posts. In particular I made a point of highlighting debates between students during subsequent class periods.

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