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Facilitator Encouragement Strategies

What are some strategies you would employ as the facilitator to encourage online discussion forum participation? Also Utilize and incorporate the idea/concept of discussion forums and assessments to encourage online discussion forum participation and suggest best ways or how you would test the strategies you mentioned.

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As a facilitator of an online discussion forum, I would first have each of the individuals that are a part of our discussion group, to e-mail me a short essay describing their work experiences, hobbies and interests, and academic goals. From this essay, I would be able to learn what the interests and strengths of the members of the forum are, and I can use this in order to departmentalize some of the aspects of our forum discussion. I would develop a discussion topic for each week and break this topic up into subtopics, which I would provide to the individuals within our discussion forum based on ...