Discussions: Discussions are graded twice, once for substantive content of Discussion Question response, and again for participation and interaction. Significant partial credit is earned by those who post substantive responses; full credit is earned by those who also respectfully interact with their fellow students.
Substantive Content. Reading assignments are accompanied by discussion questions requiring substantive student response. A substantive response—of 50 words or so—demonstrates that you have read, understood, and can apply the content presented in the reading material. “I agree” and “That’s an interesting point” are not substantive responses. And copying text from the reading material does not demonstrate understanding. Your opinion will enrich discussions, but first ensure that you demonstrate mastery of the material.
Participation and Interaction. Former students report that interacting with their fellow students strongly supports learning. Respectful dialog with fellow students is graded separate from substantive response. Students must participate on at least 4 days out of the week. If everyone posts on the last day of the week, there will be no interaction, and learning will suffer accordingly.
Lessons Learned: Each week, you will submit approximately a 350-word summary of what you learned during the week. Concentrate on the big lessons and on what was newest and most useful to you in your academic and professional development. Cover the assigned reading and what you learned from your colleagues’ responses; don’t just rehash your own discussion question responses. After documenting your lessons learned, feel free to add your personal opinions.
Term Paper: An independent research paper is due at the end of the semester. The term paper should have at minimum an opening, main body, and conclusion; be 20 to 25 double-spaced pages, and include headings, footnotes, page numbers, bibliography, etc. It should conform to the formatting and style standards of the thesis due at the end of the master’s program. Scholarly papers receive better grades than editorials, opinion pieces, and position papers.
Writing issues: Graduate students must be able to communicate effectively in writing. Complete sentences, coherent paragraphs, and correct spelling are expected. You would be well advised to proofread your postings. I can only grade what I can understand. Your term paper should meet full scholarly standards to receive the highest grade.