Summary: To improve the quality of our discussions of the various readings this semester, students must submit discussion questions and topics the evening before each reading is to be discussed. This document summarizes my policies for reading discussions.
Throughout this semester, I will assign readings from a variety of texts. I will do my best to assign each reading at least two days in advance, although I will usually assign them further in advance.
Rather than repeating this same material in lecture, much class time will be devoted to clarifying topics covered in readings, tieing topics together, and expanding ideas introduced in the texts. Toward this end, students must read assigned materials before class and formulate two discussion questions.
Appropriate types of questions include:
Thus, questions should seek to clarify points of confusion or to expand ideas just introduced briefly. For the most part, simple factual questions should be avoided (unless the facts are in dispute). The instructor will assume that students have a clear understanding of topics not covered in questions, and students should be prepared to contribute to class discussions on all areas not asked.
Students should submit at least one well-thought-out question for each days readings. (If we read more than one article for a particular class, you need only ask one question.) Students may submit additional questions for support and for extra credit.
Questions must be submitted via electronic mail before 8 p.m. on the evening before a discussion. For example, if a reading is due on Friday, discussion questions should be submitted before 8 p.m. on Thursday evening. I will collate discussion questions into a document which I will then place online (anonymously).
I will grade discussion questions on a plus/check/minus/zero scale. Most questions will receive a check. Particularly interesting or valuable questions will receive a plus. Particularly poor, trivial, awkwardly phrased, or otherwise inadequate questions will receive a minus. Students who fail to submit their questions on time will receive a zero.
Sunday, 23 January 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
Tuesday, 25 January 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
Thursday, 27 January 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
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