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?
          The discussion board enables all of you to participate in a class discussion. Any comments, questions or 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, and that will make this a better class for all of us. I will also contribute 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.  Go to 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 contact you to meet for review sessions, to share notes, or to go over material you may have missed. You may share useful websites or other sources with the list, but if you post texts from a website or another source, YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE SOURCE. Failure to do so is PLAGIARISM, and it will treated as such (see the syllabus , and the guidelines in the undergraduate catalog ). 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, concisely 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 add to it, and it will prevent any one message from dominating the discussion because of its length. Messages should present new ideas or new information from the readings to move the discussion along: they should not just repeat or endorse other students’ comments. Ideas and comments should be supported with specific references to the readings and course material. Finally, no one student or group of students should dominate the discussion: don’t reply to every comment, and don’t appoint yourself 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” the discussion. 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 to make an effort to contribute constructively as an active 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 assessment of your participation.

Revised Aug. 26, 2006

SCHEDULE OF READINGS  (Monday/Wednesday)