Bringing Guest Discussants Online through the MERLOT Virtual
Introduction and an Invitation
Online Guest Discussant Potential:
Unique Expertise/ Knowledge
/ Perspective / Reinforcement / Excitement
A Community College of Colorado Online's music faculty invited a tenor
from the Metropolitan opera as a guest speaker to connect the class subject
matter to a larger context of opera in 21st century America. The
guest prepared a written lecture that detailed the unique experience of what it
was like to grow up in the opera and responded to student questions.
class brought in a professional storyteller who discussed how the elements of
good jokes and stories translate to written narratives.
In a course for adult basic and secondary educators, adult literacy and
math specialists discussed techniques for meeting various learning challenges.
and Faculty Development Events:
Several sections of Spanish Classes brought their classes together in a
guest auditorium to visit with two guests born in Spain.
Authors of The Virtual Student visited
a professional development book discussion.
A guest facilitator engaged educators from Brazil, Sri Lanka, England, Canada and the US who came together as peer resources inside a faculty development
seminar on the how guest discussants can be brought to the online classroom.
members and students discussed a book all of Denver read
through CCCOnline's homepage, and visited with the author.
Tips for a Successful and Enjoyable Guest Discussant Event
Pre- and During:
Identify and invite
Choose the discussion tool and determine how enrollment will be done.
Discuss with speakers how they will be introduced and whether they have
preparatory materials for the class.
Make sure speakers have logon beforehand and are able to try it out; provide
guest with phone number for assistance also.
class on dates they will post and participate and prepare questions.
Gather feedback through a survey or anonymous discussion topic.
Provide a follow-up discussion or assignment to allow learners to bring the
guest's contribution back to the course material.
L. (2004). Effective
use of guest teachers. Retrieved on June 28,
Community Colleges Online. (2004). CCCOnline
virtual speakers bureau: Preparing the class.
Retrieved July 29, 2004, from http://www.ccconline.org/faculty/speakers/classprep.htm.
Varvel, V.,Jr., &
McNet, M. (2001, July/August). Guest
lecturers in the online environment.
Network. Retrieved July 1, 2004, from http://illinois.online.uillinois.edu/pointers/2001_07.
You a Potential Guest Discussant? Sign up at MERLOT's
Contacts: Dr. Gerard Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Alice Bedard-Voorhees email@example.com