Are you looking for ways to re-energize your unit discussions, why not try something that Shelly Baker, one of our adjunct instructors, has had great success with in her classes...implement current articles or videos relating to the unit and topic into the discussion itself. By posting a thread of your own where you share a video link with a question or a current article that offers a different perspective on the topic at hand, for example, you are helping students to see and begin looking for these course connections outside of the class itself. This knowledge extension helps our students see their education in a larger and more practical fashion. In fact, Shelly mentioned that many of her students have begun to share and post videos or articles of their own.
I have done this in my own classes and have great successes with it too. In fact, in one of my sections this quarter alone, almost every single unit has a post from a student sharing a resource or link for the whole class to learn from - and I should add this is not a requirement I have in place, nor is it the same student that has posted these resources/links each time. Rather, simply through starting it myself at the beginning of the quarter, students followed suit.
I encourage you to give it a try yourself and let me know what kind of results you see in your discussions.
Online Instructional Specialist