Skip to main content

Cornell University

Using Ed Discussion to Foster Peer Learning

Now that we’re well into the semester, many of your students are probably finding the course content less familiar and more challenging. They may be reaching out for help or looking for additional resources. Ed Discussion is a useful and effective tool to enhance peer learning and foster community in your courses. It is an on-line discussion portal that allows instructors and students to share and interact asynchronously through a simple interface linked to your Canvas course. Students pose questions on the site and their peers and instructors can respond/clarify/pose new questions resulting in knowledge sharing that benefits the entire class.

Some great reasons to use Ed Discussion include that it:

  • Allows for an exchange of ideas regarding the course and allows for clarification and introduction of supporting concepts.
  • Allows students to post questions (anonymously if enabled) that their peers can respond to and answer. The instructional team can ‘endorse’ and comment to validate the correct answer.
  • Reduces the number of emails and repeat questions to the teaching team. If students email individual course staff with content questions, instead of answering directly, encourage them to post the question on Ed Discussion so everyone can benefit from your response.
  • Supports many non-text items such as code, images, and equations to be shared.
  • Can host a repository of links to outside sources where students can contribute links to anything they found helpful while studying. That encourages students to work as a team to support each other in succeeding in your course.

If you’re not already using Ed Discussion for your course, following the simple steps outlined in the Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) Ed Discussion page to get started.