When you are asked to discuss something in the class
forum, what exactly does "discuss" mean?
For our purposes here, discussing a topic will mean having
a back and forth, give and take, conversation among class members about
the topic or reading in question. It will mean having a dialog, or "multilog," involving
any interested parties in the class.
So when you post a message in a class discussion, your
message might do one or more of the following. It might:
- Simply summarize some of what you see the author
or lecture saying Pick out a salient point or two that caught your attention,
summarize it, and say what you think about it
- Pick out something you have a question about, quote
it, and ask others in class what they think it means
- Respond to a question or comment that others have
- Attempt to re-phrase some point the author has made
in order to make it more clear; then see if others in class agree that
you've caught the sense of the passage
See "evaluating your own
discussion contributions" for more ways you can contribute to
It is probably wise to be careful about making negative
judgments about a reading too hastily; it would be important to understand
the author well before being too critical; but after you understand it, critiques
are perfectly acceptable, as long as they leave plenty of room for others
in the class to disagree with you.
It is probably a good idea, in general (though not
always), to include only one major idea, theme, or question in a message.
So you may want to post more than one message for more than one idea.
to evaluate your own discussion contributions