The Guide

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The Guide to Fostering Asynchronous Online Discussion in Higher Education

Designing Asynchronous Discussion (Worksheet)

The four components of successful online discussion outlined in this Guide are interconnected and work together to help the students to achieve the learning outcomes in a positive and supportive environment.

The Worksheet below (Table 8) can be useful for designing asynchronous online discussion experiences for your students as it follows the steps outlined in the Guide, including the task design aligned to learning outcomes; explicit communicative strategies; interactional scaffolding by the lecturer; and clear expectation for student participation.

In addition to the blank template, we have also provided two examples of how the worksheet was used in relation to the tasks presented in the Outcome oriented task design section (Table 2 and Table 3).

More examples showing how this worksheet was used in a number of tertiary learning contexts and discipline areas can be found in Discussion task examples. A downloadable worksheet is also available.

Table 8 Designing asynchronous discussion - worksheet

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Below we include examples of how this worksheet was used to guide the students’ asynchronous discussion experiences in two postgraduate education courses.

Table 9 Designing a task: Example 1

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(for the description of the task used in this example see Table 2 of this guide)

Table 10 Designing a task: Example 2

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(for the description of the related task see Table 3 of this guide)

Discussion task examples

Example of Asynchronous Discussion Task Design Victoria University, Masters of Teaching

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Example of Asynchronous Discussion Task Design University of Wollongong, PG, Education (Literacy)

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Example of Asynchronous Discussion Task Design Central Queensland University, Fundamentals of Research

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Conclusions and Limitations next

The Guide

Articulates a set of principles for fostering online discussion in higher education, based on theory, the literature and evidence from postgraduate and undergraduate flexibly delivered courses.

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Student Perspectives

Here we present students’ perspectives on their experience of online discussion, in which the teacher used the Guide.

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Lecturer Vignettes

These vignettes capture the essence of how the FOLD strategies have influenced lecturers’ experiences of facilitating online discussion.

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The resources in this section are the literature used to inform the Guide as well as presentations made by the Project Team. These will be added to as we continue to disseminate.

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