Students will be required to respond to twelve discussion forum prompts and to other students' replies to those prompts.
Participation in these directed discussions is mandatory and constitutes a large portion of each student's grade. Participation in these discussions is primarily a student-orchestrated activity, and I will take a back-seat, perusing the postings and responding periodically via the grade book and in additional notes.
Your participation in discussion boards will constitute an important part of your grade--about thirty-five percent, in fact. This class is not about attending a lecture and regurgitating it back at exam time; it is about performing and displaying your perspective on the readings and concepts presented in the class. You will be evaluated for participating in the required number of posts and for the quality of your responses. I expect to see thoughtful commentary. The quality of your writing should be at the college level but I will not hold you to the same level of scrutiny that I apply to your formal papers. You should refer to the evaluation sheet below for a list of criteria outlining what is expected in completing discussion forums.
How Discussion Forums Work
- Most every week, discussion forum posts will be due.
- Once enrollment has settled down, students will be divided into two groups--A and B. These groups will be announced by the end of Week Two.
- Each week, each student will respond to my prompt on either the A or the B forum and will reply to the peer responses of two other students one on each forum.
- Examples: Sarah Bellum is in group A. Each week she responds to the prompt on the A forum (=1 post) AND she responds to one peer on the A forum and to one on the B forum (=2 posts). Dee Zoozee is in group B. Each week she responds to the prompt on the B forum (=1 post) AND she responds to one peer on the A forum and to one on the B forum (=2 posts).
To receive credit (three percent) for
a forum, student posts must meet the bulk of these criteria:
Initial response to Jon's prompt:
Response to each student posting:
- presents a cogent response to the question(s) in the prompt
- provides textually-based reasons to support the response
- asks thoughtful questions of student responders, either for clarification or to prompt further analysis
- Post is made by the time discussed in class and posted on the Moodle site.
- asks thoughtful questions of other students
- adds information and/or clarifies an idea
- if agreeing, adds elaboration
- if disagreeing, does so respectfully and adds rationale
- maintains appropriate tone
- is made by the time discussed in class and posted on the Moodle site.
Additionally, to ensure that all posts receive replies, students should reply to posts that have one or no reply; in other words, if Sarah Bellum logs in to reply to discussion board posts and she sees that six threads already contain two replies, two have one reply, and one has no reply, Sarah should reply to one of the threads that has one or no reply.
Students who make the required posts and who make posts that meet these criteria will receive credit for the forum. Partial credit will be awarded.
Moodle discussion forums do not allow users to save their work. Thus, you should do all your writing in a word processor. When you are finished, you can copy it and paste it into the Moodle forum's text editor.