ON-LINE DISCUSSION GUIDELINES
The discussion board on MyUSF/Blackboard
is an on-line forum for class discussion. You post a message on the
website, and it can be read by the entire class (and me too!). Your
participation is a graded element of the course.
-what is its purpose?
enables all of you to participate in a class discussion. Any comments,
ideas related to the course are welcome. I encourage you to raise
questions about the readings and webnotes; to follow up on
lectures and class discussions; and, especially, to respond to one
another’s comments. Your questions
and remarks will help me tailor the class to your interests and needs,
that will make this a better class for all of us. I will also
to the discussions and post messages to follow up on lectures.
-nuts and bolts: how do I post and read messages?
Go to MyUSF/Blackboard.
HUM2211. Click on the link for "Class Discussions". Enter the
appropriate forum - we begin with "Unit One". There, you can read
the messages, reply to a message, or start a thread of your own (a
message with a new header/topic that other students may reply to).
-“dos and don’ts”: basic guidelines
All of us share responsibility for making this
a successful forum that welcomes all students and contributes
positively to the quality of the class. There are just a few basic “dos
and don’ts”. Please use simple but descriptive headers. Please
respect other students, and please do
not use the list to raise individual concerns (your grades, personal
situations, catching up on missed classes) or to converse with one or
two friends in the
class. You may use the "class discussion" or the "email" function to
invite other students to
you to meet for review sessions, to share notes, or to go
material you may have missed. You may share useful websites or other
with the list, but if you post texts from a website or another source,
MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE SOURCE. Failure to do so is PLAGIARISM,
will treated as such (see the syllabus
, and the guidelines in the
). At a minimum, you will receive a FF for listserv participation.
-what messages contribute most - or least - to the discussion?
The discussion can accommodate a wide range of
messages: long and short ones, questions and answers, messages
following up on class discussions or raising points you’d like to have
discussed. Whatever you say,
take the time to say it clearly and concisely. Among many messages,
written ones will be more effective than long, rambling ones.
Constructive messages will vary in length from a short question or
brief citation of a passage in the readings to longer statements that
might support a well-reasoned argument with several references to the
readings. Most contributions to ongoing discussions can be limited to a
paragraph or two. That will give other students a chance to respond or
it, and it will prevent any one message from dominating
the discussion because of its length. Messages should present new ideas
new information from the readings to move the discussion along: they
not just repeat or endorse other students’ comments. Ideas and comments
be supported with specific references to the readings and course
Finally, no one student or group of students should dominate the
don’t reply to every comment, and don’t appoint
as a moderator of the discussion.
-how will my participation be assessed and graded?
In assessing your participation, I will
consider three things. First, I will expect a steady effort to post substantive messages throughout the semester.
Second, your messages should contribute
to the discussion as a whole: this means that you should work cooperatively with your fellow
students to develop ideas, and that you should not try to “dominate”
Third, I will assess the quality of
your comments and questions, as evidence of careful reading and thoughtful reflection
on the course material. Different
students will participate in different ways, but I expect each student
make an effort to contribute constructively as an
learner. I may give you a progress report on your class
participation during the term.
I also encourage all of you to discuss the
course material with me personally or by e-mail, and to participate in
class when there are opportunities to do so. This will not replace
participation in the on-line discussion, but, if constructive, it will
have a positive impact on my
of your participation.
Revised Aug. 26, 2006