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Humanities 1110

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Inver Hills Community College

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Hum 1110
D2L Discussion Boards

               

         

INTRODUCTION  (1-10-15)          

Because we have few meetings in person, the discussion boards replace most normal class attendance.  You generally must attend two discussion boards per week, with two messages of 200+ w. each (which makes a weekly grand total of 4 messages and 800+ w. per week).  In these discussion boards, you will use "prompts" (questions) to write half of your messages each week - about the readings and about general matters concerning our course.  The other half of your messages will be responses to other students.  Full instructions are below.

What are discussion boards? Discussion boards also are known as bulletin boards (or "BB's").  They are online pages for posting messages to all others in the class, and for reading their responses.  When you post messages in a discussion board, it is like putting up a message on a corkboard: usually people are not online at the same time.  Instead, you post messages whenever you want-- and read them whenever you want-- like you would add a message on a corkboard or refrigerator. 

How do you sign up? If you have registered for the course, you are already signed up. 

How do you start?

(1) Start by going to the IHCC D2L web site and sign in using your IHCC username and password. The web site is at

https://inverhills.ims.mnscu.edu
     

To sign in, you'll need your Tech ID # (e.g., 00001234) and your IHCC password.  If you do not know what these are, there are instructions on the sign-in page to help you.

(2) After you've signed in, find the name of our class and click on it.

(3) Once you are in our class's D2L web site, click on "Discussions" (just below the IHCC logo and name).

(4) Then the D2L page directs you back to this web page to read the instructions below.  You may want to create two windows to do it easily: one window for these instructions and one for the D2L page.

(5) Once you've read these instructions, then on the D2L page, scroll down to the beginning: "Week 1," "Week 2," etc.

What is the due date for each week's discussion boards?  It is Thursday midnightIn actual practice, I accept whatever discussion-board messages and email homework I find when I look at them.  I look at them once a week sometime after Fri. noon.

How long is discussion-board class supposed to take?  The length of each bulletin-board class is supposed to be about the same as a regular 50-min. class in a building.  However, I am unable to determine your BB attendance time by the clock.  Instead, I determine it by how many words you write--the length of your bulletin-board messages.  Each message must be 200+ words, and there are two to four messages to write each week.  

How can you make up late discussion boards?  For starters, all discussion board messages may be up to one week late in Weeks 1-15. After that, you can do the late discussion messages as extra credit as follows. Please send discussion board make ups by following these three steps:

  1. Add the messages you need to the real discussion boards in the weeks you need them.

  2. Then copy just your own messages (not other people's), box and all (or as much of the box as you can get copied: i.e., all the info in the box).  (Why?  This is so I can see that you have put each message on the BBs before sending them to me.)

  3. Then paste each set of messages into an email and send the email to me, with the proper heading or note at the beginning telling me what it is you are sending, who you are, what week it is for, etc.  In the subject line, tell me why I'm getting the email.  (See "2" below for what to put in the subject line.)

  4. Tell me how much time you spent writing and posting the messages.

Please send everything in-text--in the text of your email itself--not attached (unless otherwise instructed). That means you should simply write them as an email message or, if you already have them on a word processing file, you should use your mouse and your "Edit" function to mark, then "Copy," and then "Paste" them into a regular email message.       

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BASICS--HOW TO DO THE WEEKLY MESSAGES (10-15)

STARTING:

Start your discussions in D2L by first going to our course, and then clicking near the top on "Discussions." Choose a week and "Set" ("A" or "B") by scrolling down and clicking on the correct week and Set.

BEFORE YOU START WRITING:

AVOID HAVING AN OLD MESSAGE POSTED UNDER YOUR OWN NEW MESSAGE!

To help all of us read the discussions, please avoid letting the message to which you are replying show underneath your own message. In other words, let only your own message show--don't let someone else's earlier message be posted again under your own message. Here are directions for fixing this problem:

1. In the top-right of your D2L page, find your name, and click on the down arrow to its right.

2. Then click on "Account Settings."

3. Then click on "Discussions," and look for “Reply Settings.”

4. In "Reply Settings," find the small box beside “Include original post in reply." If this box is checked, then uncheck it by clicking on it. (If the box is already empty, then you should be okay—leave it empty.) And there's one more step....

5. Be sure to click at the bottom on “Save and Close.”
  

SHORT SUMMARY OF HOW TO DO THE MESSAGES

There are usually two required discussion board sessions or "sets" each week (sometimes just one): Set "A" and Set "B." If you would like prompts for how to do them, go to D2L Questions/Prompts.

Each set -- Set "A" and Set "B" -- has 3 steps:

(Step 1) Determine whether you are doing Set "A" or Set "B." Then, on this web page, below, read the "QUESTIONS" for that Set. 

Then, in D2L, go to the current week and the correct set and open the message that says, "Click here to start...."

Then click on "Reply to Thread" and type your answer to one or more of the questions for at least 200 words. Then simply click on "Post" to post it. Wait until you see it has finished posting before leaving the web page, or you might lose the post. (Do not ever click on "Start a New Thread.")

Hint: If there are more than 20 messages, you may need to click on the next page to see the rest of the messages (or change the setting to see more messages per page).
  
(Step 2)
In the same week and set, skim-read others' messages.

Then click on "Reply to Thread" (don't click on just "Reply") and write a message to at least three other people in ONE message of your own (don't do it in three separate messages, but rather in just ONE message--with your responses to three people in that one message). Tell us all who they are: for example, write "To Josephine:", "To Jack:", "To Moua." This message should also be a total of 200 words or more for all three responses in one and the same message (not 600 w., but just 200+ w., total).

Be polite, kind, respectful, and caring. If you disagree with someone, do so respectfully, and reread what you wrote to make sure your words and your tone will not be misread.

When you are done, simply click on "Post" to post it. Wait until you see it has finished posting before leaving the web page, or you might lose the post.
  
(Step 3)
Then go back to the previous week to skim the message that others wrote in response to you or after you.

Hint: If there are more than 20 messages, you may need to click on the next page to see the rest of the messages (or change the setting to see more messages per page).

(2) If you are required to do two sets ("A" and "B") in one week, with two messages in each set, then the grand total for your word count must be a minimum of 800 words or more (with a min. of 200+ w. per messages).

(Step 4: If after completing the above, you need to add more words because your responses do not total 400+ w., you may do a "Step 4": simply go to your message that is too short, click beside it on "Edit," and add more comments--see below for more detail on how to do the word count.)

NOTE ABOUT AVOIDING PLAGIARISM: Remember to always give credit to someone whose words or ideas you are using. If you're using an author's or student's actual words, be sure to put them in quotation marks (" ") and tell us who said it. If you're using someone's idea (a book, another student) and it's a unique idea (not something you can find everywhere), be sure to give the author or student the credit for the idea.

If you would like prompts for how to do them, go to D2L Questions/Prompts.

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LONGER DETAILS ABOUT HOW TO DO THE MESSAGES

Here is a much more detailed description of these three steps:

Step 1--ANSWER QUESTIONS: First, review the questions on this web page for Set "A" or Set "B."  Read the questions and choose one or more to answer. 

Second, in D2L, go to the current week, find the correct set ("A" or "B  "), and open the message that says, "Click here to start...."

Third, What questions do you want to use? You can remember them by going back and forth between the two web pages (this web page and the D2L web page), or by copying your questions to your message's beginning using "copy-paste." 

Fourth, answer one or more of the questions. Be sure to write at least 200 words in each message, or you won't get credit for the message. 

Fifth, mark your entire message and choose a font style and font size for it: make sure it is at least 10 point so it can be easily read by others.

Then simply click on the little box that says "Post" to post it to the discussion. Wait until you see your message has finished posting before you leave the web page, or you might lose your message. (Do not ever click on "Start a New Thread.")

Hint: If there are more than 20 messages, you may need to click on the next page to see the rest of the messages (or change the setting to see more messages per page).

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Step 2--RESPOND TO 3 PEOPLE: Then, in that same set of messages, you should also skim other people's messages to see what they have said. 

Once you've done that, then click on "compose" again, and type a response to three different people in just ONE message (Do not have three different messages for three different people.)  If there aren't three people in the messages, yet, then you may also reply to yourself.   

In other words, start your second message simply by reading several or more of any of the messages from others.  As you read, use a separate piece of paper (or a Word doc) to write the first name of each person to whom you want to respond, along with a few notes about what you want to say.  Then, to start your own message, click on "Compose."  Please remember to respond to at least 3 different people, and to do it in just ONE message (not three). 

As you write your message to the three people, please tell us all who they are: for example, write "To Josephine:", "To Jack:", "To Moua:", etc.  Then after each, write your individual response to that person.  Be sure to write at least 200 words in each message, or you won't get credit for the message. 

When you are done, simply click on "Post" to post it. Wait until you see it has finished posting before leaving the web page, or you might lose the post.

Hint: If there are more than 20 messages, you may need to click on the next page to see the rest of the messages (or change the setting to see more messages per page).

While creativity is not a requirement, the more original you are in your response (rather than just saying, for 200+ w., "Cool, I agree, That's what I think," etc.), the more enjoyable you will find using the discussion boards, and the more interesting the discussion boards will be to others, as well.  Remember that it is fine to disagree as long as you do so respectfully and in a caring way.  If you are disagreeing with someone, it is especially important to reread what you have said to see whether it sounds warm and respectful--and if not, then you should revise it.  A few ways to state your own thoughts are to suggest another way of thinking: "I also think," "Another thing to add to this is...," "I agree but believe, too, that...," etc.

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(Step 3--READ AN OLDER WEEK : And finally, you may want to go back briefly to the most recent older week of the discussion boards, for that set of messages, and read what people said after you left the discussion boards in that week--especially if anyone responded to one of your messages.)

Hints: (1) If there are more than 20 messages, you will need to click on the next page to see the rest of the messages. (Or you can reset the "20 messages per page" function to "50 messages per page.")

(2) Remember that if there aren't 3 people on the discussion board, yet, you may also reply to yourself.

(3) The total number of messages you write in the current week usually will be four, each of them 200+ words in length.  This means a grand total in a typical week of 800+ words and four messages.  In a few weeks, there will just be two messages (and a grand total of 400+ words) to write.  And in some weeks, there will be nothing to write. 

(4) If you are a beginner at discussion boards, I strongly recommend that you keep these directions available on a separate web page all the time in the first several weeks, ready to look at them as you write your messages.

If you run into problems, check the "D2L FAQs" section below, on this page.  It can be very helpful for basic, common questions.  If you read the D2L FAQ's and still can't get an answer, please do give me a call (612-870-7024) or send me an email.
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(Step 4: Have you checked the length of the messages you just wrote for the current week? Are they all 200+ w.?  You can check quickly, if you want, by copying your message and pasting it into a Word document, and then looking for the word count in the lower left corner of the Word documet. Then, if your messages are too short, you can go back into them by clicking on the arrow beside the title of your reply, and then choosing "Edit" to add more length. Speak freely and offer some thoughts off the top of your head, and you'll usually end up contributing something to the conversation--either something new or something in support of what others are saying.)

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TALKING AS AN ACADEMIC COMMUNITY (1-09)
  
http://www.richard.jewell.net/AcademicCommunity.htm
 
            

Dear members of the class,

Good academic behavior on the bulletin boards is like good academic behavior in a physical classroom.  Sometimes people writing bulletin board messages forget this, but it is of great importance.  To make these boards work well for everyone, we must treat each other with respect, caring, and balance.   

There is also a tendency sometimes for people to think that bulletin boards are a place to complain--to or about each other, the assignments, or even unrelated events--but they are not.  Rather, the bulletin boards are a place--as in a regular classroom--to stick to the topics at hand.

If you have a problem with someone in class or feel you have been unfairly treated or hurt by someone on the bulletin board or elsewhere, let me know, but do it by email, phone, or in person.  If you have a question about why the class is being run the way it is, then keep it at that simple level--a polite question--and ask me privately--again by email, phone, or in person.  This is only good academic ethics and polite behavior, just as in a regular, physical classroom at school. 

Please do not use the bulletin boards as a place for emotional disagreements.  In particular, be careful of the words you use and how you put them together in sentences, as they might have an emotional message that you did not intend.  Reread what you've written before sending it.  Show respect to other students and to me.  Stick to the topic, and try to be kind to others.  And be willing to disagree with each other as long as you do so respectfully in a balanced, caring way.

Please read a longer statement, "Talking as an Academic Community," by clicking here on http://www.richard.jewell.net/AcademicCommunity.htm.

You also can find it by going to the home page of the course Web site, and then to the "Bulletin Boards" section.

I appreciate your serious attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Richard Jewell

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D2L FAQ'S--FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DISCUSSION BOARD CLASSES

The Questions:

Here are the questions.  To see answers, scroll down. (1-15)

A-1. WHAT IF YOU DID DISCUSSION BOARD CLASS, BUT YOUR MESSAGE NEVER APPEARED?

A-2. HOW CAN YOU WRITE THE MESSAGES LATE AND STILL GET CREDIT?

B. WHAT IF THE ATTENDANCE RECORD SAYS YOU MISSED DISCUSSION BOARD CLASS (or only got 1/2 credit), BUT YOU THINK YOU DID IT?

C. WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOR CHECKING MESSAGES ON A DISCUSSION BOARD?

D. WHY DOESN'T RICHARD JEWELL JUST CHECK THE MESSAGES FOR YOU?

E. IS IT OKAY TO DO MESSAGES AHEAD OF TIME?

F. WHY IS THERE ALL OF THIS ONLINE STUFF?

G. HOW DO YOU FIND THE HOME PAGE IF "www.Richard.Jewell.net" IS DOWN?

H. WHY AREN'T WE USING D2L (Desire To Learn) FOR EVERYTHING?

I. HOW IS DISCUSSION BOARD CLASS TIME COUNTED?

J. CAN YOU COPY YOUR HOMEWORK AND PASTE IT INTO THE MESSAGES OR VICE VERSA?

K. WHY ARE ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS AND WEEKLY QUESTIONS ON A SEPARATE WEB PAGE?
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THE ANSWERS:

A-1. WHAT IF YOU DID DISCUSSION BOARD CLASS, BUT YOUR MESSAGE NEVER APPEARED? (1-15)

First, check the bulletin board to see if your message is missing (see question "C." below).  If it is, there are three possibilities:

(1) Did you remember, after writing your message, to click on the "post" button?

(2) After sending your message, did you then keep the bulletin board open and running, doing nothing else on it, until you actually saw your message appear on the discussion board at the bottom?

(3) Did you accidentally put your message on the wrong BB, week, or wrong course?   

If you're having trouble with the discussion board, it may save you time to write your message on MS Word first, save your copy, and then paste it into the discussion board message box.   If you do this, be sure to mark your entire message and then choose a font style and a "10" or "12" font size for it so it is easily readable to others.


A-2. HOW CAN YOU WRITE THE MESSAGES LATE AND STILL GET FULL CREDIT?
(1-15)

You can always get full credit.  Simply do anything missing.  Then give it to me.  To show it to me, follow these instructions:

(a) Write what is missing on the discussion board itself so others can see it.  (Do not just give the messages to me alone.)

(b) Copy BOTH of your own messages from that week and set so that I can see that you have done everything due on that discussion board.  Copy them BOXES AND ALL: this is so I can see they come from the discussion board.

(c) Paste them into an email and send it to me, labeled in the "subject" line as what it is--discussion board & week number. 


B. WHAT IF THE ATTENDANCE RECORD SAYS YOU MISSED D2L CLASS (or only got 1/2 credit), BUT YOU THINK YOU DID IT
? (1-15)

For starters, relax.  You can always get full credit--see the answer above for "A-2."  If you think you did do the discussion board but didn't get credit, read the rest of the answer below, first, before trying to take care of the problem. 

First, here's how the discussion board attendance credit works. In the online records, a zero is marked as "0." It means that I didn't see any messages from you at all (see "A-1." above). If I marked  "\" or "/," that means I saw just one message, or one of your messages was too short.   An "X" means I saw two messages and gave full credit.

Second, what if you only got 1/2 credit (or no credit) and don't understand why? There are several things to check before asking me:

  • I only record the "Attendance Record" once per week.  Check the date at the top.  If you sent me something on or after that date, it probably won't be recorded for another week. 

  • If the date you see is more than 7-8 days old, you may need to click on the "refresh/reload" button on your computer screen—the button at the top that has one or two arrows in a half circle or full circle (depending on whether you use Explorer or Chrome).  Just click on it and see if a newer version--with a more recent date--appears. 

  • If you got a "\" or "/," did you only write one message (two are required)?  Or was one of them too short? (200+ w. are required. You can add more and still get full credit—see "A-2." above.

  • Did I accidentally forget to give you credit?  You can add more and still get full credit—see "A-2." above.

C. WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOR CHECKING MESSAGES ON A BULLETIN BOARD? (1-15)

To check on your messages,

(a) click on the week's AND the correct set's discussion board.

(b) Then click on the message that starts with "Click here to start...."

(c) Then simply look at the messages by scrolling down.

 
D. WHY DON'T I JUST CHECK THE DISCUSSION BOARD MESSAGES FOR YOU?
(1-15)

Sometimes people send me an email asking me something like "Did I do okay on the discussion board?" or "Did I write enough?" Often I don't even know which particular messages, set, or week they are talking about. And when I read forty to sixty messages a week, I don't always remember each one individually. In addition, I, like you, only go on the discussion boards once a week, and it talkes me a lot of extra time to turn on D2L and search for several people's messages when I get several such requests.

For these reasons, if you're late or need to add more, it is so much faster for me to have you find the message in question, copy it, and send it in an email. I appreciate your time in doing this.   


E. IS IT OKAY TO DO DISCUSSION BOARDS AHEAD OF TIME?
(1-15)

Sure.  Anyone can do "Step 1" ahead of time--in as many weeks as you want.  And if you're the first or second person on the BB, you can still do "Step 2," as well: either respond to someone from a previous week about a previous subject, or respond to your own self as if you were someone who thinks very differently.  You also can simply leave two starting messages--responses to the questions--in two very different ways. 


F. WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO ALL OF THIS ONLINE STUFF? (1-15)

For this course, it is a required part of class time.  Online classes are not classes where you "skip class."  Instead, all time you normally would spend in class must be accounted for in other ways.  Discussion boards are one of the major ways of doing this in this online class. 


G. HOW DO YOU FIND THE HOME PAGE WHEN "www.Richard.Jewell.net" IS DOWN?  
(1-15)

Plan ahead on your own computer by going to the course Web site, to www.richard.jewell.net, and to this D2L site—and bookmark each one.  That way, if one is down, the other can get you to many of the related sites and info anyway. 

To bookmark a site, go to it, and then click on "Bookmarks" (sometimes called "Favorites").  However, if you use school computers, you can't bookmark on them. As an alternative, you can copy all three Web site addresses to an MS Word document, then print it and keep it in your billfold/purse.  You also can use this D2L Web site to go directly to the course Web site.  


H. WHY AREN'T WE USING D2L FOR EVERYTHING? (1-15)

We are using D2L just for the discussion boards.  The rest is done by Web and/or email.  There are two reasons for this: first, it's easier for me to just have permanent websites (since I know how to build them anyway), and it's easier to receive your homework by email. Second, D2L goes down--out of service--or has other problems, sometimes; however, my websites and my email system are much more likely to be up and running at all times.


I. HOW IS DISCUSSION BOARD CLASS TIME COUNTED? (1-15)

The time assigned to attendance in this online course is the same as you would be expected to spend in a physical, on-campus class. An on-campus course and an online course are supposed to require the same amount of time of a student. The national standard is as follows:

A typical first- or second-year 3-credit college course is supposed to take about 3 hrs. of class and 6 hrs. of homework per week. 

 - A 4-credit course is supposed to take about 4 hrs. of class and 8 hrs. of homework per week.

Vacation and teacher-development days also are deducted if they fall on a Thurs.-Sat., just as for any on-campus course, because Thurs.-Sat. is when I read discussion board assignments and give credit for them as attendance.  


J. CAN YOU COPY YOUR HOMEWORK AND PASTE IT INTO THE DISCUSSION BOARDS, OR VICE VERSA?
(1-15)

Absolutely not. Please do not copy homework to BBs, or BBs to homework.  They are two entirely separate activities, just as in a physical, in-person class.  You can use some of the same words and discuss the same subjects, but do not copy your work—write and say something different about the subjects.

              
K. WHY ARE ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS AND WEEKLY QUESTIONS ON A SEPARATE WEB PAGE? (1-15)

These are on a separate, permanent web page to save me time, so I don't have to copy them over again each semester into each new online D2L course.  Note that it isn't very hard to have two web pages up at the same time. If you don't know how to do this, ask someone. I appreciate your time and patience in using two different web pages.  :-)

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Go directly to D2L:
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Please read Talking as a Community!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)         

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  Scroll down or click here for the following parts of this "D2L" explanation page:

Introduction

Basics--How To Do
the Weekly Messages

Talking as an Academic Community

D2L FAQ's--Frequently
Asked  Questions

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Note: The Discussion Boards Make a Huge Difference in Your Grade

How does an online class have attendance?  Discussion boards are a big part of it (as are "events" mentioned on the "Attendance" page). D2L discussions count as attendance, just as would attending class on campus.

You will see, by the end of class, that roughly 2/3rds of people are left. Where did the other 1/3rd go? They either dropped out or were removed (after three wks.) because of no attendance and/or no weekly homework. Attendance is a large part of this class--1/3rd or more--and attending the D2L discussion boards is a large part of this.
    

Updated Aug. 2017

  

   

Contents and page design: Copyright (©) 2005-2017 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL: www.richard.jewell.net
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136, Inver Hills CC