For those of you unfamiliar with discussion boards and the Blackboard system,
please refer to the USF Academic Computing,
which has an excellent Help site regarding electronic media.
Your weekly writings/posts are the starting point for your conversation with the
literature of this class. Writing changes you from a passive receiver to an active
participant in literature. Informal writing directly allows the student to consolidate
her/his ideas and impressions. It asks the reader to engage the text -- either to
explain it or question what he or she does not understand. By writing out one's
impressions of a work, the writer increases the potential for remembering details
about the literature. It is a way of "owning" your ideas about a work.
Though these assignments are informal, they are important, and you should
give them full attention. My focus questions are designed to help you
concentrate on a particular aspect of the text, and this thinking,
completed before class, should facilitate discussion during class.
However, you should not feel limited by the questions. On the contrary,
informal writings provide an opportunity for you to voice your opinions,
questions, and ideas about the issues we are studying in class.
Writing these ideas should build confidence in your ability to share
your opinions with classmates in a constructive debate. Feel free to
post as frequently as the spirit moves you.
Students will be required to participate in an electronic discussion
devoted to the issues of this class. The discussions will be on-going,
but each student is required to post at least one message per week.
Students are also required to read the posts of the other students
before class. Hence all posts need to be submitted on time.
Posts are to be sent the evening before the class for which they are assigned.
They MUST be received by class time. Note: always bring a hard-copy to
class in case of technical failure. Computer failure or inability to get
to a machine does not excuse you from writing your post.
I will pose a question or two on the class material each week, and
you may choose to reply to that question or to any post on the list.
Your writings should demonstrate a serious effort to analyze, question
or understand the literature of the course.
To be counted for your weekly writing, your post must be at least 200
words in length (a little less than a double-spaced typewritten page).
I will be strict in enforcing this minimum length.
You should identify your topic in the subject line. Please maintain the
same thread if you are responding to a specific post; this will allow others
to follow the discussion more easily.
The writings in this discussion group are informal, and so you need not
be overly concerned with proper punctuation or structure AT THIS POINT.
Clarity in writing, however, is always a plus in communication.
Each post will be recorded and graded on a scale of 1-3 points based on effort.
I will only respond if the post does not meet requirements. If you do not receive
a direct response from me, you have received full credit.
Electronic Discussion Etiquette:
This is an unmoderated board, and so anything you post will be visible to all
members of the list. Please consider your audience and observe general rules
for polite discussion.
Personal attack or insulting posts (otherwise known as "flaming") will
not be tolerated by the rest of our civilized participants; respect for
one another is key.
Keep posts pertinent to discussion. Personal comments and details
should be avoided.
You can get access to the discussion board through the Blackboard
system maintained by USF. You register for your log-on ID for MyUSF
and you will see that you are automatically registered for the discussion
board by virtue of being registered for the class.
Only members of the class can have access to the discussion, unless I permit others.
Under the communications icon you will find discussion boards listed. You can submit a post
by following the instructions on the page.