Whether you are a seasoned facilitator looking to translate your knowledge of in-person discussions to the virtual world, or an educator getting ready to moderate your first online discussion, “Taking the Conversation Virtual: A Primer on Moderating Online Discussions” is intended to provide a foundation for leading and supporting your efforts.

In general, discussions provide a space for people to talk through how a particular issue or problem affects them, learn more about the issue, discover a range of views on what could be done about it, and in some cases, decide how they want to take action. When discussions are taken online, they can reach more people than face-to-face conversations, regardless of geographic distance—and they can do so faster than ever before.

Moderating an online discussion is both similar to and different from facilitating a conversation in person. For those with facilitation experience, this primer will support much of what you have already practiced as well as provide you with additional resources to draw upon. For those with little experience, it will provide you with the foundational skills you’ll need to begin successfully moderating online conversations.