Course Learning Activities
The course is divided into Learning Modules. In each of the 5 numbered modules there are two graded assignments, a textbook discussion forum and a Reflective Blog.
Student-led Q & A Discussions: In every module you will find a Student-led Q & A Discussion Forum for the chapters of the text assigned. This is the way you cover the content of the textbook. In each forum you are expected to ask questions from each chapter about topics you want to explore in more detail. Other students will respond to your questions, and you are expected to facilitate the ensuing conversations, making sure that the topics are fully and accurately explored. In addition, you must respond to the questions asked by the other students, and actively participate in the conversations about those topics.
The purpose of the Q & A Discussion is for the students to teach each other the more difficult research concepts introduced in the textbook – to “learn by teaching.” This may seem strange to you, but I have found that the best way to learn something is to try to explain it to someone else. I will only jump in to the discussion if asked, or if no one else can provide a clear and accurate answer. (This should happen only rarely – I hope! :)
Research Portfolio: This is an opportunity for you to explore research specific to your discipline of study, whether it is Criminal Justice, Psychology, or Business. There are 5 forums in the Research Portfolio module. In each forum, you post a research report (or the link to a research report) which exemplifies the research design under discussion in the forum, then lead the discussion on that report. In addition to facilitating the conversation on your report, you must be an active participant in the other student-led conversations.
Knowledge Audits: At the conclusion of each module, your appreciation for – and understanding of – the important issues, methods and concepts will be assessed two ways:
Reflective Blog: You are asked to summarize and apply the most important things that you have learned in each module, and respond to the blogs of other students.
Talk with the Professor
In each module there is a “Talk with the Professor” area. In this area I may ask discussion questions about issues which I feel haven’t been fully explored in the Roundtable discussion area. Also, in this area you may ask me questions, which I will respond to. Most often, I expect these questions (mine and yours) will be related to the discussions or the textbook – but no relevant topic is “off-limits.” You should check this area each time you log on and participate in these discussion threads.
Extra Credit / Make-up Work
- The assignments that I have designed are specific and sufficient to help you master the content of the course. I do not permit “extra credit” or “alternative credit” assignments.
- The knowledge and skills you will obtain in this course are sequential and cumulative – you can’t learn the “new stuff” if you don’t understand the “stuff” we have already covered. Therefore, if you fall behind, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover.