Guidelines for Online Discussions
  1. I believe in quality on-line discussions rather than mere quantity. Toward that end, I have placed Threaded Discussions among all of the units of this course. The discussions provide an opportunity for you to talk about a topic related to the unit readings. In addition to responding to the question posed by me, carry on a dialogue about the topics with your classmates. Don't worry about my views on the topic. I had my chance to get my views across in the course materials, my role is not to get you to parrot me. The discussions are intended to encourage you to form and defend your own views.
  2. Always be polite to other students. In this class (and in all others) you must treat each other with respect no matter how much you may disagree with each other. Disagreement is normal, your task is to explain why you think differently. Never attack other people personally. It is also important to avoid abusive and offensive language, as well as terms that are disparaging of individuals, faiths, races or peoples. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn't make a particular comment with your mother listening in, don't make it here.
  3. Before you make your contribution, review all previous postings by other students. Whenever possible, make specific references to the ideas of other students.
  4. For credit, you must make at least one contribution to a discussion.You may make as many comments as you like if you find the dialogue particularly interesting. Even if you make more than one contribution, however, I will be looking for consistency of participation across units. If a unit contains more than one discussion topic, please feel free to participate in as many discussions as you can manage that week.
  5. Your contribution should show that you have read the required material and given some thought to the question. Because these are discussion questions, there is no single correct answer. Answers are better or worse depending on their coherence and their grounding in the literature and empirical evidence.
  6. Each discussion has a deadline. To get credit for a contribution, be sure to post it by the deadline. You may make comments later, too, but they won't earn any credit for you.