Overview of Facilitating an Online Discussion
The Teaching Effectiveness Program at the University of Oregon has published an excellent introduction to facilitating discussions online among students. This resource highlights, among other things, important considerations about time management for faculty and students, as well as how to model appropriate and well-formed discussion board posts.
Writing Great Questions
Writing effective online discussion questions is perhaps the most important factor in developing a robust online discussion. Check out this article in MERLOT's (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) Journal for Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT). We recommend focusing on the section entitled ""S and T: Style and Type of Question" and checking out the appendix of the article for sample discussion questions.