If students wish to bring a new topic for discussion, they should use the Start a Discussion button

Individual Participation and Class Discussion on Texts:  Throughout the semester we will be reading the Stewart book and required readings. Class discussions will be held about these readings. See the schedule for these readings, so that you know when they are due.  Your participation grade will be comprised of the on-line (Canvas) discussions.  The definition, type, and level of participation are described in the next two paragraphs.  Careful attention needs to be given to your participation in discussion and you are strongly encouraged to self-monitor.  For the purposes of this class, the minimum level of on-line participation is described as follows.  Each student is expected to respond to discussions a minimum of two times (2) per week on different topics.  For example, you could respond to one textbook or article discussion question and respond to a classmate’s post in one week.  The schedule has you responding on two different days of the week. Please check it continually and remember that two times per week is the minimum required. As you can see, there are seven (7) weeks of online text discussion sessions.  I am asking that you respond a minimum of two times per week (3 points possible for each substantial posting/response for a maximum of 6 points per week).  Conducting responses in this way – a minimum number of times per week on different days of the week – allows for a better flow of discussion and gives presenters an opportunity to respond in a timely manner.  For class discussion, the week will generally run from Monday through Sunday (unless noted otherwise). Discussions are considered locked when the time for discussion on that topic is over. So, you will have until 11:59pm on Sundays (unless noted otherwise) to finish your contributions to postings.Any postings after this time will not be considered.

Given our Full Value/No Discount Policy (see description on the last page of the syllabus), we all have the obligation of making this course and our colleagues successful.  That does not mean that we expect you to do your colleagues’ work, but we do expect you to do all that you can to facilitate dialogue and promote productive/positive classroom interactions.  All class activities require meaningful participation; hence, the emphasis and score will be on the quality of the student’s contributions and willingness to be part of the group.  Getting notes from a colleague, reading discussion boards or chats without participating does not substitute for the student’s presence in class or online or count towards participation in discussions.

I define participation broadly to include your careful attention to discussion, whether in working with other class members or posting to the discussion area. Substantive contribution consists of demonstrating knowledge of the topic for the class as well as bringing thoughtful and critical questions that would further class discussion.  Average contribution consists of demonstrating knowledge of the topic for the class as well as furthering discussion that others begin.  Little to no contribution consists of passive participation in class meetings with little to no effort to further the discussion of the topic.  Class members are particularly encouraged to assess their participation regularly as well as to make certain that all members have an opportunity to participate.

Discussion Area on our Website.  We may use the Discussion area for multiple purposes.  We will hold discussions, post announcements, ask questions, critique readings, edit, and take care of logistical issues here.  There are some ground rules for this area:

  1. Responses should be limited to one screen (maximum).  (A full paragraph works nicely.)
  2. The concept of threading a message is to place responses within the topic section.  Think of this as people in a room, carrying on several conversations simultaneously, turning to and away from those with whom they are conversing.  To do this, when replying to an existing posting/comment, simply start your response in the space provided under the word Reply.  If students wish to bring a new topic for discussion, they should use the Start a Discussion button.
  3. To guarantee an effective, continuous conversation, students should read everything that has been written previously by others.  Otherwise, a redundant, “I already said that,” “Said what?” conversation will take place.  Points will not be given for repeated information.  Students should focus on building or critiquing others’ ideas – not simply restating them.  The sooner students respond to questions, the easier it will be to avoid redundancy.