Respond in Blackboard Discussion
Charles E. Ophardt, Professor of Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL 60126,, Copyright 2004

Issues Discussion - On-line Format

An Issue consists of three inter linked internet pages:

1. Issue Introduction and Internet Resources

2. On-Line Discussion - 3 Rounds of debate and response

3. CHM 110 Blackboard Discussion Board - Forms to post messages and read responses.

1. Issue Introduction and Discussion Preparation:

Prior to the start of an issue discussion the instructor will assign roles or Yes or No viewpoints to the various people participating in the discussion.

Then you will use the Issue Introduction and available Internet Resources and any other resources including the text book to formulate ideas about the issue.Take any notes that you think will be helpful that can be written more formally for the discussion. Try to find as much information as possible to support the position that you are supposed to take. For the On-Line Course this whole discussion will take place over a two week period.

Please read the postings on the CHM 110 Discussion Board before you make a contribution to this ongoing discussion.

Discussion/Debate/Role Play Format:

The debate format will be somewhat informal, but some ground rules may be in order. Half of the students will present the YES viewpoint and the other half of the students will present the NO viewpoint. In role plays, each student will try to represent the "role" assigned. Try to find information that will support your point of view or support the "role". Try to put yourself in that position to represent those views.

Each student must support the viewpoint assigned, even if you do not personally subscribe to this point of view. This will force you to carefully examine opposing points of view and examine the evidence carefully. At the very end of the debate, you may express your personal view of the issue.

2. On-Line Discussion - 3 Rounds of Debate and Response.

a. Starter Questions provide a guideline for thinking through a particular issue.

1st Round Discussion: (2 points) - Problem Definition, Scientific Principles, Social, and Ethical View points:

Please read the postings on the CHM 110 Blackboard Discussion Board before you make a contribution to this ongoing discussion.

Discussion Starters:
Since an Issue is relatively complex, the "General Assessment Summary" is used as a guideline to get the discussion started. For the 1st Round of Discussion we will consider Main questions 1-6. I have posed some simpler sub questions under these which you might answer to get things started. Each student should answer ONE QUESTION as assigned to get started.; the one question is from the sub questions such as 1a, 2c, 4d, etc.

The purpose of assigning questions is to ensure complete coverage of the issue. Students should have sufficient time to research a small piece of a larger issue. This work should be completed in the first week of the issue discussion. Then other students may read what you have written in preparation for answering the main debate question (#7).

Post your written response to a question the appropriate sections of the CHM 110 Blackboard Discussion Board. Since there are usually 3-5 of the sub questions listed on each discussion page, to answer a question in the message box., start by giving the Question Number that you are responding to, such as: QUES. 1a:

Give references for material used in the discussions.

b. More Extensive Issue Discussion Response:

2nd Round Discussion:
(See QUES. 7 ) (6 points)- Examine the issues from all viewpoints for possible solutions to the problem:

Give your final answer to the main issue question. Clearly state which option YES or NO that you support, then give brief reasons and explanations for your answer (4 - 6 paragraphs should be sufficient). First state whether you are giving a YES or NO response, then give 2-4 reasons with any supporting specific content or data for the side that you support, consider economic, social, ethical consequences of the side that you support, finally what solution to the problem do you propose? Give a written response to the appropriate section of the CHM 110 Blackboard Discussion Board. This discussion should lead toward finding a solution for the problem. Since this part of the discussion has the most point value, put most of your efforts into this response.

Internet information should be rephrased into your own words. Do not just copy and paste large sections of material from an internet site and call this your discussion contribution. Short sections may be quoted - but marked as quotes, followed by some summarization. The URL should be cited as the source of the material.

Writing that accurately expresses your ideas demands not only writing skill but focused attention, critical thinking and active involvement. Only if you become actively involved in the writing process will you be able to communicate your ideas clearly.

Your writing should have:

  • a purpose (position that you support)
  • a controlling idea or thesis
  • organized development of your idea with major and minor supporting details
  • a logical conclusion
  • cite your sources of information

c. Discussion Response:

3rd Round Discussion: (2 points): After some students have posted some responses in questions 1-7, then for your final response, make a comment, rebuttal, or answer a question posed by the other students. The purpose for this is to try to get a little more "give and take" discussion of the issue as would happen in a "live" oral discussion. You may make a short response to points made in the final debate question (QUES. 7) or any of the sub questions 1-6.

Extra Credit: If you make a second response or a rebuttal, you can get up to one point of extra credit. Please label this second response as extra credit.

Answers to THREE Rounds of Discussion are required. This may be done all at once or you may wait for more of the discussion in Round 1 to be completed before giving your final answer to the question in Round 2 and 3.

The grade for the issue is based upon timely participation and quality of discussion. A very brief response to Question 7 (Round 2 of discussion) will result in loss of points. If you do not participate in the internet discussion you will lose the appropriate number of points. You will receive partial credit for the actual amount of participation.

3. Post Responses to the Blackboard Discussion Board
All Issue discussion and debate is posted to the appropriate sections of the Chem 110 Blackboard Discussion Board. The appropriate link to take you to Blackboard are found in the discussion question page. At that point you need to click through the appropriate menus to find the Issue and Question where you will post your answer.
The following link takes you to the general discussion board - Blackboard Discussion
The following link takes you to general directions in how to use and post responses to the discussion board.
Directions to use Black Board Discussion Board