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Guidelines for Students’ Online Discussions

For an English 111 Course Using the Discussion Board

  1. Why use the discussion board in class?
    • It is the primary way we will communicate for the online part of our course.
    • Writing is a social process. You live in the world within a particular culture. Our ideas for reading and writing are derived socially; we learn with and from each other. 
    • We will do "collaborative" work on the forums, reading each other's postings, working together, learning from each other, getting ideas and giving ideas to each other.
    • Your participation will be a big part of your grade in our hybrid course.
  2. The discussion board is organized into "Forums".
    • A forum is a place where an "asynchronous" discussion among class members takes place. I will post a prompt to begin each FORUM. Each FORUM will be numbered.
  3. Discussion board will be used for the following situations:
    • To discuss something that we have read in class.
    • To begin the "writing" process by free writing or brainstorming.
    • To outline your paper.
    • To try out thesis statements.
    • To see what other students have written and to get feedback from them.
    • To conduct online Peer Review.
    • Discussion Board interaction is like having little conversations with each classmate that you write. People are writing to you and expecting you to read what they wrote. Check back at intervals to see if you have new messages about your writing.
  4. Quality of responses:
    You will be graded on your responses. To get the maximum points.
    • Say something substantial to your classmate. Saying, "good ideas" or "I like what you said" is not enough to receive full credit for the assignment.
    • Compliments are fine but not enough. Go beyond that -- ask them a question about something they wrote about; something you would like to know more about. Possibly give them a suggestion on how they might expand their ideas.
    • Depending on the topic of conversation, your question/comment may give them more ideas about what to write about. I've had many students say that they went back to the DB to look at all the ideas offered there to get inspiration for writing their own papers.
    • As mentioned above, as these questions come in from your classmates, answer them -- treat their writing like you would like yours to be treated.

NOTE: These conversations are PUBLIC to the class; all the students and I can read everything you have posted. You will be able to edit your postings.

If you DO NOT POST when you are required to for ONLINE DAYS, you will be marked ABSENT.