Asynchronous Discussion Board postings serve the same purpose as class/group discussions do in a f2f environment. You will make several postings each week, depending on how many and what kind of reading assignments are required for that week. There are different kinds of postings: they can be reading-responses, responses to reading-responses, and answers to and comments on the instructor’s and peers’ questions/postings. It is expected that you contribute to our class and group discussions regularly according to the guidelines below. The quality, frequency, length, and depth of your postings will count towards your participation grade.
Reading-Responses: The purpose of reading-responses is to facilitate maximum learning for you and your peers. You will respond to theoretical texts and models of creative nonfiction in separate postings. If there are three theoretical pieces due on a certain day, for example, you can skillfully combine them; you don’t need to post responses to all three of them separately. Your initial posting to individual readings should be no less than 300 words and must contain enough material to convince the instructor that you have read and engaged the text, carefully considered the issues it discusses, etc. At the end of your post, you will raise a question or controversial/problematic point that will elicit further discussion. Your postings should be well composed, clear, accessible, smart, and error-free. We are looking for breadth and depth in these posting for a good grade. Your posting should include citations from the text or elsewhere to better support your argument. When reading actual creative nonfiction pieces (as opposed to reading about the theory), your goal is to analyze them critically as you would other pieces of literature and to see what you can learn from these pieces that will help your own writing and writing process.
Responses to Peer Postings or Responses to Reading-Responses: Since your own postings are only the initial stage of a conversation within a small or large group, responses to peers’ postings are essential to facilitate a real discussion. As soon as your peers’ postings are available, you will read all group members’ postings and respond to at least two of them. These responses are a couple of paragraphs in length each. You can answer their questions and/or respond to interesting ideas in their posting. Please avoid clichés and “padding” in these responses. Comments like “Thank you for sharing,” “What a great idea,” “I found your response really intriguing,” or other general statements without specific additional information and insight, will not help the discussion or your grade. Do not just restate their argument; expand it. Personalize your posting and avoid giving the same response to several peers.
I would like to encourage you to get back to the person who has just responded to your initial posting. This would be third round of postings within the group, and you can obviously go on. If you give substantial responses to more than two group members, or maintain a long intelligent discussion with the same group member, or participate in other groups’ discussions, you will get extra credit.
Labeling: It’s important that you pay special attention to how you label your postings and your work in general. You want to give as much concrete information about the content of your posting to the viewer as you can to help his/her orientation. Nobody likes to waste time by clicking on links randomly whose titles are not informative. Viewer-friendly posting are always much appreciated. To make the viewing process more efficient, here is what you can do. Please fill out the Subject line for all your postings. If you are replying to a previous posting, but your topic is different, be sure to fill out the Subject slot again. Don’t just hit reply. Your titles and labels must be clear and accurate. They should indicate what you viewer would find when clicking on the link. Using labels like “response 1,” “response 2,” etc. is not very informative for an outsider.
Please post your pieces in the message box as part of a forum/thread and not as an attachment. Also please remember to maintain the privacy of participants and the confidentiality of their information. In general, abide by the rules that apply to academic policies.