24 Textbook Discussion Forums

Instructions for participating in a Textbook Chapter Discussion Forum:

In each of the modules, chapter content is discussed in forums using a student-led roundtable format. On the first day a module opens you are to submit one discussion question for each chapter included in the module.  Then, in each chapter discussion forum, you facilitate the conversation started by your questions. In addition to facilitating your conversation thread, you are required to participate in several other conversations of your choice. These roundtable discussions provide you with the opportunity to pursue in depth the issues and topics you find most relevant and most interesting.  Through your selection of questions to ask and questions to answer, you are able to take control of and customize your learning path through the content of this course.

Suggestions for earning an “A+” on your discussion forums:

  1. In each chapter forum, click on the Create Thread button to submit your discussion question. This is the topic you will be “teaching” in the chapter.  Post each of your discussion questions – 1 per chapter – on the first day that the module is open.
  2. Post your discussion question as a complete sentence.  For example:  Why do psychologists do research?
  3. You will not receive credit for a question unless: 1.) it is different from those already posted and 2.) requires critical thinking and thoughtful analysis to answer.  Don’t submit questions that can be answered by simply looking the answer up in the textbook.
  4. Reply to at least two discussion questions in each chapter forum that were posted by other students.  Use the Reply button at the bottom of the post you are responding to. You get to select which questions you respond to – and in this way have a great deal of control over which issues you want to focus on in the chapter.
  5. Start replying to others early in the module, so you can be an active participant in these discussion threads and interact frequently with the other participants.
  6. The quality of each reply is evaluated.  Your reply will be accepted only if it complies with the Two Cardinal Rules.
    1. Cardinal Rule 1: Your post message must introduce new and relevant information about the issue under discussion.  It must “teach” us something relevant.
    2. Cardinal Rule 2: The subject of your post must be a complete sentence (subject – verb – predicate) which summarizes the main point of your message.
      1. If your subject starts with “Re:” it will not be accepted.
      2. If your subject is just key words, and isn’t a complete sentence, it will not be accepted.
  1. Facilitate the discussion of your chapter question by responding right away to each student who posts in your discussion thread. You can ask follow-up questions, probe for additional examples or details, etc. Your job is to fully explore the topic you have asked about. You are the teacher and the discussion leader for this topic.
  2. Continue to lead your discussion thread and participate in the other threads you have selected throughout the entire length of the module.  You receive credit for each day you participate in the forum – up to 10 days. To earn full credit, participate in each forum on 10 different days.
  3. Document your factual material by citing the source. Include all non-original content in quotes.  Failure to properly acknowledge non-original content is plagiarism, and will be considered a violation of the college policy on academic integrity. The penalty for plagiarism will follow the policies established by the college and published in the student handbook.
  4. Only your own, original content is evaluated.  Any content you copy from another source is not graded.  If you paste content into your post, make sure you put quotes around it and cite the source. 
  5. I attempt to evaluate your discussion posts every day.  You should check your progress in each forum often, as described in the document titled “How to see your forum grade and my private post feedback” located in the Course Information area.
  6. All posts are subject to my approval.  If I feel that a post is offensive, I will delete it and no credit will be given.  If you ask an unacceptable question, I will delete it and you will not receive any credit for that post.  Likewise, if your reply to another student is unacceptable, I will delete it and no credit will be awarded.
  7. You may submit as many posts to each discussion forum as you wish, but only high quality posts that satisfy the 2 Cardinal Rules will contribute to your forum grade.
  8. I will evaluate a maximum of 3 discussion posts submitted to the same discussion forum during any 24 hour period.  For example, if you submit 3 discussion posts to the same Internet Resource forum between noon and 1:00 pm, you should wait until 1:00 pm the following day to submit your next post.  This rule is designed to give other students a chance to respond to your posts, so that you can then reply back to them.   This also means that if you wait until the last day and submit lots of posts, I will only evaluate the first 3 you submit.


You will earn an A+ (100%) grade on the Chapter discussion forum if you:

      1. Submit an acceptable discussion question to the Discussion Forum on the first day that the module is active.
      2. Submit 10 acceptable reply posts (Posts that comply with both of the Cardinal Rules.)
      3. Participate in the forum on 10 different days while the module is active.
      4. Remember that you won’t get credit for more than 3 posts submitted during any 24 hour period.


Your forum participation be evaluated based upon this rubric:



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