14 Discussion 2: Plate Tectonics

Discussion 2

Plate Tectonics

Tilted and jagged rock formations among hills and trees
Figure 1. Vasquez Rocks. Just north of Los Angeles, the uplifted rocks are a result of collisions along the Elkhorn Fault, an offshoot of the San Andreas Fault.


This week we will be having a conversation about plate tectonics and the ways in which the hazards associated with movement of the plates might personally affect you or your family. Now that you have completed Module 3 (Plate Tectonics), you should have some basic knowledge about the subject and can make educated post(s).

For this discussion, you will write an intial post and reply to at least TWO of your classmates’ posts. Follow the guidelines for each posting below:

Basic Guidelines for Initial Post

(20 points, required)

Under the Discussion 2 topic, create a new thread. Answer the following questions thoroughly. Each question should be addressed in complete sentences and 4 – 5 sentences each.

  1. Where did you grow up, or where do you call home? Where are the closest plate boundaries to your home (name the specific plates involved)? Is the boundary you identified a divergent, transform, or convergent boundary, or some combination of these? Describe this boundary in more detail if possible.
  2. If a family member asked you to describe the potential danger of living near the plate boundary located closest to your home, what would you tell them?
  3. Knowing what you do now about plate tectonics and the hazards associated with plate boundaries, how would this new knowledge play a role in where you choose to live in the future? How much risk might you be willing to live with?
  4. Find two web pages or articles from two different sources that you feel provide a good overview of plate tectonics. How might you determine if it is a credible source for information? Describe what you liked (or didn’t like) about the way the information was presented.

Basic Guidelines for Replies to Students

(10 points, required)

  1. Make two replies to two different students, thoughtfully addressing
    1. their concerns and/or assessments about the hazards associated with plate tectonics as they relate to them, and
    2. at least one of the websites they chose as a good source for information on plate tectonics.
  2. Each reply must contain 6 or 7 meaningful sentences directly related to article content. Phrases like “that is a great article!” and “I really liked your summary” do not count as meaningful content. However, these are still encouraging phrases in support of your peers so please feel free to include them in your post.
  3. You must reply to at least 2 other students. (3, or more, for extra credit.)
  4. Do not wait until the last day of the discussion to make your replies. You only receive credit for one reply (up to 10 points max) on the last day.
  5. Reply early and often, and earning your full discussion points will be easy!

Extra Credit

(5 points, optional)

Make a third reply (or more!) to a student following the guidelines above.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of your participation in the discussion, you will become more aware of current events and news articles relating to topics in geology (i.e. become a more informed citizen). You will have some freedom in customizing this course to pursue your own interests in geology, including things not covered in the content of this course, by finding news articles on topics that relate to you.

Grading Rubric

Initial Post

20 points: Initial post met length and content requirements

15 points: Initial post needs minor improvements in length and content

10 points: Initial post needs major improvements in length or content

5 points: Initial post was made but with very little effort

0 points: Initial post was not made

Reply posts (each)

5 points: Reply was thoughtful, relevant, and met length requirements.

4 points: Reply needs minor improvements in relevancy and/or length.

2.5 points: Reply needs major improvements in relevancy and/or length.

1 points: Reply was made but with very little effort.

0 points: Reply was not made.


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