Online discussion forums and chats offer members a place to ask questions and get advice from other people. From philosophical reflections on life to practical questions about how to complete a specific task, online forums are a great resource for finding answers. They are like message boards, but they have rules and moderation and are usually more focused on a single topic. Forums are considered to be one of the oldest forms of online communication. In the days of telephone access, message boards were where people came to ask questions and get advice from other people.
Nowadays, people use them to talk about almost anything. There are Internet forums for just about anything you can imagine, such as sports, hobbies, and even politics. Now that many employees consider email to be one of the top productivity killers, organizations need to find new ways to improve communication. Because of the convenience, students are less distracted, tired and stressed. So, they can focus on the topic.
Usually, after a few very superficial greetings, the instructor can dive right into the course content and spend an entire hour discussing it with students without distractions, such as bathroom breaks, sharpening pencils, eating, etc. In general, much more content is covered than in a face-to-face classroom. Small talk and off-topic conversations are also minimized. Online discussion forums have long been used in educational contexts as part of a larger movement toward online learning. Citizen participation on complex public policies through online forums provides a similar environment in which participants can share their views, engage in dialogue and learn from each other.
However, in this context, there are clear advantages and disadvantages of online communication. In my opinion, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. However, you must be aware of the disadvantages in order to implement strategies that minimize their impact on participants. The perfect storm for a successful discussion forum or a question and answer forum that generates great value for your brand. In a traditional classroom, especially for a class that isn't “intelligent”, with online resources, unless the instructor has anticipated that the comprehension gap isn't always possible, she'll often be reduced to drawing pictures on the blackboard or giving verbal explanations, which could further confuse students. I recently stumbled upon another compelling argument to embrace the more unruly aspects of the online debate. Instead of searching through an inbox full of emails, you can simply ask a question in the discussion forums and see everyone's answers in a clear, chronological order.
Having the searchable content set mentioned above means that users will start using your discussion forums and question and answer forums as a useful resource, increasing your brand's reputation and increasing the information you can use to improve products and services. In an online conversation, the instructor has the option to immediately go to the Web, search for “unicorn” or “Birth of Venus” and post the link or the image itself in the discussion room. Divorcing the commentator's comment through the anonymity of an online forum eliminates this power. Conversational knowledge, which is created organically as a result of discussions or questions and answers, is discoverable. From streamlining customer service operations to generating a large amount of useful content to be retrieved and reused at a later date, the benefits of installing a discussion forum or a question and answer forum as a tool for your company's online presence are many. We've seen this happen only in a few cases where a topic has been hot enough in a community to cause multiple participants to repeat visits to the forum. Unlike an unrecorded verbal conversation, online discussions are long-lasting and can be reviewed and reinterpreted to obtain answers to different questions using different analysis techniques using analytical packages such as Nvivo. But why in the era of Facebook and other social media sites are forums still used so widely? We've compiled the top 5 advantages of online forums that you can't ignore: they provide an efficient way for users to ask questions; they allow users to search for information; they provide an opportunity for users to engage in meaningful conversations; they enable users to create content that can be reused; they offer workspace administrators an easy way to manage their teams. Recent product enhancements for workspace administration make it even easier for workspace administrators to manage, monitor and support members of their online project teams, customer portals, communities of interest offering teams.