Class Participation and Discussions We will have Weekly Q&A discussions. I will post a weekly discussion board for Q&A about the material we cover for the week. Please post the questions you have, and please answer or respond to each other’s questions (I will also be monitoring & responding to questions). Ideas for posts: Questions about the class material Questions about assignments or other class logistics Answers to your peers’ questions or reactions to posted articles or questions Questions or articles about topics related to class material or cancer in general Helpful advice or resources for online learning Please do NOT post: Anything inappropriate. If it would be considered inappropriate in a normal class setting, don’t post it. Anything demeaning Direct answers to the homework questions or lab reports You will be graded on your participation in the discussion boards, so make sure to post or respond at least once a week! Below are some suggestions for creating rich discussions with your fellow students. Responding to the original discussion question Respond with the right information. Make sure you read the question prompt carefully and include all the information and references I ask for. In addition, at right is a list of the kinds of questions I might ask and how to go about answering them. Consider adding media. Include a multimedia link to make your response more engaging or include a video, article/passage or photo that is relevant to your response. Encourage your peers to respond to your postings by using one of these strategies to invite further discussion: Propose a new idea for feedback. Ask for clarification or further explanation about an aspect of the question you had trouble answering. Ask your peers to make a connection between the topic and another piece of literature, movie, or something they have personally experienced. Invite your peers to draw a different conclusion or share another perspective. If you presented an opinion or idea about the given topic that was not addressed in the question, ask your peers to respond to it. Pose a follow-up question to the group to expand the conversation or shift it in a new direction. Present a controversial idea or statement, and ask peers if they agree or disagree with the statement. Encourage peers to ask questions about the points you made if anything was confusing or unclear. Responding to your peers Actively respond to your peers’ ideas or questions. Acknowledge your peers when they post exceptional responses to your posts. Provide encouragement and direction to peers whose responses need improvement. Follow up with supplementary/additional questions and/or an explanation if peer responses lack depth or clarity, or if the responses are unfocused. Make constructive suggestions that will support your peers in the developmentof their ideas. Be open-minded. Be receptive to your peers’ ideas and consider how they might fit within your preconceived notions. Always maintain a respectful tone. Treat your peers as you would expect a teacher to treat you. Make “I” statements: “I like your explanations Camille, but I think Henry did give up searching for Keiko. After years of no contact and moving on he finally let Keiko go, or tried to. Use peers’ names when replying: “Ben, this was a great answer and you explained it very well. This helped me understand the book more and the characters. I think that this was a wonderful post and it was nice to hear your perspective on the question.” Avoid generic compliments: Instead of “Great job!” tell them exactly what they did well. Reference specific content from their posting. Keep critiques focused on the content, not the person: If you have a different perspective, explain and support it. “Good point, Sierra. I can see where you are coming from. I, however, agree with the statement because I feel like Elinor could begin to like Colonel Brandon to get her mind off of loving Edward. And I think that when Marianne doesn’t like somebody, then Elinor does.” Keep questions clear and concise to avoid confusion. If asking about a specific part of their posting, then specifically reference it.
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