For every class, students will contribute a written piece to the class website based on three roles: primary readers, respondents, and researchers. The order in which each student takes on these various roles will be determined during the first class, and each student will fill each role multiple times. Students are expected to complete their assignments according to the guidelines below unless an alternative arrangement is agreed upon with the instructor ahead of time.

The purpose of these assignments is to create a collaborative learning environment, where everyone shares their understandings of the materials with others in the class and as a way of contributing to public bodies of knowledge. Grading of these assignments will be very loose since their purpose isn’t to test reading comprehension; rather, they are designed to encourage reflection and engagement with the concepts we cover in class. They are also provide a low-stakes opportunity for students to improve their writing skills through practice. Thus, completion of the assignments will be weighed much more heavily than content, but effort will still be taken into consideration.

Reading Roles

Primary Readers
These students are responsible for posting a reading response for the assigned reading(s). This should consist of a short discussion of the concepts or ideas that you find most intriguing or provoking, clarification questions, and discussion questions. These are due by midnight before the next class.
Respondents
Students in this group build upon, disagree with, or clarify the primary readers’ posts by the next class meeting. This reflection/response can touch on things discussed in class, but should also address the questions raised by the primary readers.
Researchers
Students in this group find and share at least two online resources that help expand the discussion of the assigned reading(s). This might include a video, news article, website, set of pictures, song, etc., that help to explain, provide examples, or otherwise relate to the readings. In addition to linking to the resource, the researchers must provide a short evaluation of the resource, describing why it was chosen and highlighting what makes it worthwhile, unusual, problematic, or educational.

Constructive Feedback (Commenting)

Be respectful.

Even if you (strongly) disagree with another student’s writings, base your comments on the content of what was written, and don’t make it personal. Remember that this is a space for learning and engaging with one another. Personal remarks about someone else prevent engagement.

Form your comments and remarks based on the use of arguments and evidence.