It was nice of Jason to meet with me and suggest what would be a better option for my class. He also helped me set up a google group that may foster class discussions more effectively.
I invited my class to this group by posting an announcement with a link to this group on the blackboard and by sending every student the link in e-mail as well. Their initial response was great. Some of them sent me thank you notes for setting it up. However, not many posted any queations on this despite me reminding in the class. Today I gave them the first quiz. I was hoping that there will be alot of group discussion among them while they prepared for the quiz. But to my surprise not much was posted except that they wanted a sample exam! Only one student sent one question and even that was more like a last minute thing to which no one responded!
I think this is due to the lack of time and also that they have not yet realized how they are doing in the course. If this is true then hope is that their discussion group will become somewhat more active after they see the results of this quiz next week. I guess I will have to wait and see. In the meantime I have reminded them in the class today about the importance of this group discussion and encouraged them again to participate.
So the challenges continue!