Here are some examples of different kinds of peer facilitation prompts that can be used for online discussions. (Obviously these prompts can be used by the instructor as well.)
Example: What is the name of this theory . . .?
Giving Direct Instruction
Example: I think in class we mentioned that . . .
Example: I was once able to solve this sort of problem once when I . . .
Example: Wow, I’m impressed . . .
Providing cognitive task structuring
Example: You know, the task asks you to do . . .
Asking for cognitive elaborations
Example: Provide more information here that explains your rationale.
Example: You might want to write to professor Smith for . . .
Example: Restate again what the scientist did here.
Example: What was the problem-solving process the professor faced here?
Giving general advice
Example: If I was faced with this situation, I would . . .
These examples were adapted from Bonk, Curtis J., and K. A. Kim. “Extending Sociocultural Theory to Adult Learning.” In Smith, M. C., and T. Pourchot, eds., Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives from Educational Psychology, pp. 67-88. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 1998.