Site Map - To see the relationship of CHM 110 Home Page and Blackboard

How to do an On-line Issue Discussion

 Issues: Debates/Role Plays:

A technological issue is examined from many points of view by assigning students a "role" to research and examine from the scientific, economic, social, and ethical viewpoints. Informational searches use computer programs and/or Internet sites. The students then engage in a role play type discussion (using on-line discussion board postings) of the issue. This type of exercise ensures that all sides of an issue are examined.

Examples: Global Warming, Nuclear Power Plants, Chlorine Ban in Industrial Synthesis, Ozone Depletion, Municipal vs. Bottled Water, Civil Action Case Study.

Overview of Issue Discussion Requirements:

To participate fully in the On-line Course, it is a requirement to engage in short question/answer/discussion with the instructor and other students through the use of an online discussion bulletin board. This discussion board, known in this course as Blackboard, is accessed from appropriate places in the Issues pages. Students and the instructor respond directly at appropriate places in an evolving article/document. Think of it as editing a community document. A complete listing of postings is available to everyone at any time. The postings are completed at times of convenience to the student. There are no times when everyone has to be on-line at the same time such as in a chat room. This whole issue discussion will take place over about two weeks. The first date given in the schedule is the end of week one of discussion and is posted to keep you from procrastinating. The final responses can take place in week two after the deadline.

Issue Discussion Outline:
Round 1 Discussion: (2 points): One question from sub questions in 1-5 - You will be assigned to answer one of these questions to ensure complete topic coverage. See the Questions below for the student assignments.
Round 2 Discussion: (6 points) Main debate question (Ques. 7)
Round 3 Discussion:
(2 points):One follow up response to another student.

1. Assignment of Viewpoint: Prior to the start of an issue discussion the instructor may assign roles or Yes or No viewpoints to the various people participating in the discussion. In some cases, you may self select the "side" that you want to support. Then you will use the available Internet Resources and any other resources including the text book to formulate ideas about the issue which support the "side" that you have been assigned.

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. Round One - On-Line Discussion starter questions.

1st Round Preliminary Issue Discussion (Ques 1-5): (2 points) - Problem Definition, Scientific Principles, Social, and Ethical View points:

Discussion Starters: Since an Issue is relatively complex, a general set of questions is used as a guideline to get the discussion started. For the 1st Round of Discussion we will consider questions 1-5. I have posed some simpler sub questions under these which you might answer to get things started.

2a. Assigned Questions: Each student should answer ONE QUESTION to get started. These first questions will be assigned by student ID number. As more students join the discussion, they should try to add to or clarify the answer given by the first students that post. In fact you may want to check what has already been posted on the Blackboard Page before you start. A series of questions will be listed, as well as responses. It will be to your advantage to get started early to have the best choice of questions. You should respond to questions that you have been assigned and any free choice questions that you have. If the question has already been answered try to add something new to answer the question or clarify what has already been written.

2b. Research Answers: Unlike in the topics where the questions and research are tied relatively closely, in Issues you will need to do more free range looking for information that fits your question. From the issue questions and assignments, click on the Research Answers to Questions link. On this page there are general resources related to the topic and more specific links that might help answer some of the specific questions. Feel free to look at as much as you need (no need to look at everything). You may also look for your own sources, but I would do this only as a last resort, since I have already given you numerous quality links.

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 and answer the question and even perhaps support the "side" that you are supposed to take. Please rewrite answers in your own words that you understand. If you just copy and paste from the internet it will be quite evident that you really do not know the meaning of many of the technical terms.

2c. Write First Response: Write up your answers to the question in a Word Processor so that you have a backup copy.

2d. Post Response in Elmhurst Blackboard: Blackboard Page:
This will bring you to the Elmhurst Blackboard Log-on page. Click on User Login. Log in using your Elmhurst ID and password. Next you should see the page with your name, a mid section with announcements, and on the right side a list of My courses - a list of all of your Blackboard courses. Then Click on Chemistry: CHM 110. This brings you to the CHM 110 course page for Blackboard. THIS IS NOT THE MAIN STARTING POINT FOR THE COURSE. This is the reporting place for your work after you have completed your work and research.
Directions to use Blackboard Discussion Board

Be sure to cite your sources

Method to list references and citations.

Don't Panic. If you had already checked answers before you started, and now when you are ready to post found someone else has been working simultaneously on the same question, it will be OK for a second answer to be about the same as the first. Most of the time two people will have different answers anyway.

3. Round Two - On-line Discussion - Final Answer to Issue Main Question

2nd Round Final Issue Discussion: (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 (3-6 paragraphs are required for complete credit). Post your final response to the appropriate section of the Elmhurst Wiki. When you get to the correct Issue with the Questions 1-5, click on the Article Tab to do the Main Question Debate. This discussion should lead toward finding a solution for the problem.

Write up your answers to the question in a Word Processor so that you have a backup copy.

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


4. Round Three - On-line 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 1-5. You need to say more than you agree or disagree. Give some more info as to why you agree or disagree.

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.

Extra Credit point is given for a second response.

The grade for the issue is based upon timely participation and quality of discussion. If you do not participate in the Wiki discussion you will lose the appropriate number of points. You will receive partial credit for the actual amount of participation.