I am reading the book The Relationship Cure by John Gottman in order to better understand relationship building. I just started it but it already has made me think about how this applies directly to building community in online courses. He talks about the bid, a request for emotional connection. When someone replies to your discussion board post with a post that is meant to generate further interaction with you, he/she is trying to make a connection with you and/or your thinking. To ignore it is to deny a bid for connection which can deteriorate the learning community’s effectiveness. I suggest that students and teachers subscribe to their discussion boards so no one misses that bid. In the online community of learning, it could lead to great insights into the topics being explored and make the community more supportive of each other’s learning and need for connection.
How do you encourage community building in your discussion boards?