Discussions with Student Leads

Discussions - xx%

Description of Group Discussions

There are 8 discussion topics, scheduled to coincide with the course content they are related to. You can post as early as you are ready, but the discussion board will close at 11:55 PM (Eastern time) on the Sunday night at the end of the week they are scheduled. See your Course Schedule for details.

This scheduling is meant to keep you focused on the current week, so you avoid getting caught up in past work. After the discussion board closes, your instructor will complete one final post. Below is an explanation on the expectations of this ongoing assignment.

Discussions can be accessed by clicking Connect and then Discussions on the course navigation bar above.

Expectations for Discussion Leads (xx%)

In the first two weeks of the course, sign up to lead one of the discussion boards. There will be at least two people for each one.

SIGN UP INSTRUCTIONS: You must sign up to be a discussion lead through the Groups tool. Groups can be accessed by clicking Connect and then Groups on the course navigation bar above. You should review the Module Discussions page first in order to decide which topic you want to lead. No more than four people may sign up to lead any given week. Please note the number of members already enrolled in a group prior to signing up and choose a different group if necessary. See LEARN help for instructions on how to self-enroll in a group.

When your turn comes to lead, you do not need to contribute an original post commenting on the question(s). Instead, it is your role to engage with your classmates' comments. You should make at least six posts, all as a reply to a comment made by a classmate. The quality of your comments will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • You apply and/or connect comments to the course content,
  • you elaborate/expand or respectfully contradict the comments made by your peers, and
  • you provide additional information and/or perspective to the discussion.

This discussion lead role and post is worth 6 points, and will be evaluated on you having made at least 6 posts (3 points), and the quality of your posts (3 points).

Expectations for Discussion Participation (xx%)

You will post at least one informal yet thoughtful comment responding to the question asked in the remaining seven module discussion boards (all except the one you were in the Lead role). Then, reply to a classmate's post in an equally thoughtful and respectful manner. Thus, two posts per week for seven weeks. These posts should be between approximately 100 and 300 words. A final comment from your instructor at the end of the discussion will provide valuable feedback and insight on the topic – be sure to check it out.

Your posts will be evaluated for their quantity (at least 14 posts worth 7 points), and each of these posts being relevant and thoughtful (7 points). This means that each post is worth one point (0.5 for participation and 0.5 for relevance) and you can gain up to two points per discussion board.

You are encouraged, optionally, to engage in further discussion with your classmates to satisfy your curiosity and desire to hear from one another. Remember, your post is meant to be informal. You are encouraged to ask questions of one another and work through evolving ideas. This is a chance to participate and learn together, not an essay writing exercise. You are not being evaluated on quality of the writing (just relevance of the content to the week's theme), so do not spend time on perfecting your response or ensuring the word count is exactly accurate. For this assignment, the word count is a guideline to help you understand the expectations; no one will be counting the words. That said, a post that is way less than 100 words or way more than 300 words is not likely to align with the spirit of this exercise.


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