Outside Materials Discussion Sop3004 Module 1 Ch

Outside Materials Discussion Sop3004 Module 1 Ch

Chapter 1: Here is this first graded discussion question, related to Chapter 1 and worth 10 points: First, what was wrong with the Ghostbusters ESP experiment (video link) at the end of your chapter one slideshow, and how could it be improved to meet scientific standards? Second, if you were doing this study, what would be your hypothesis, and what would your independent and dependent variables be (make sure to define what you mean by an “independent” and “dependent” variable? Third, how would you make it an experimental (rather than correlational) study? Finally, what are some of the ethical problems with this study? Discuss this research with your group if possible. I recommend responding to another group member at least once, though I encourage you to respond multiple times as you engage in a group discussion. If you cannot respond to another group member, then make sure your first comment is very, very, very good if you want all ten points! Also note that this question asks for FOUR things from you. Missing an item will lower your score, so make sure to respond thoroughly to all four parts of the question.

For your follow-up comment, I want you to agree or disagree with other group members on their interpretation of the video, noting why you feel this way (did they get the variables right? Does their study sound feasible?). You could also suggest other ways of conducting research by using other’s comments as a jumping-off point.

I have a few helpful guidelines about your posts. First, look at the grading rubric if you need some additional guidance. Second, spelling and grammar count, so make sure to proofread before formally submitting both your initial and (if included) follow-up comment. Third, a good guideline for all discussion questions is roughly a sentence per assignment point. That is, I would expect at least 10 sentences from you across the initial and follow-up comments (could be more, could be less, but that is a good rule of thumb!). Finally, note that on occasion, I may give some extra points to students (11 or 12 for the whole discussion rather than 10), but this will be very rare and only for exceptional answers that draw on additional material not covered in the course materials (the daily news and the internet might be good sources of outside materials).

Discussion Grading Rubrics

Discussion Grading Rubrics

Each student will engage in a discussion board for each chapter and answer a question posed by the instructor regarding material covered that week. Students will leave a minimum of two comments, including an initial comment (up to 8 points) that fully answers that weeks’ question as well as a follow-up comment (up to 2 points) that responds to the initial comment of at least one other group member. My suggestion is to have at least one sentence per point (that is, 8 initial sentences minimum and 2 follow-up sentences minimum). This won’t guarantee you all 10 points, but it is a good rule of thumb. See the last page for a very good discussion example from a prior student!

Discussion Grading Rubrics



10 points


The comment is accurate, original, relevant, teaches us something new, fully answers the weekly discussion question, and is well written. 10 point comments add substantial learning presence to the course and stimulate additional thought about the issue under discussion. It incorporates both personal knowledge and opinions as well as draws on concepts introduced in the textbook and powerpoint slides to fully justify those personal opinions.

8-9 points

Above Average

The comment lacks at least one of the above qualities but is above average in quality. A 9 point comment makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the issue being discussed. An 8 point comment has grammar and readability issues but is otherwise similar to the 9 point comment

6-7 points


The comment lacks 2 or 3 of the required qualities. Comments that focus only upon personal opinion or personal experience often fall within this category. Personal viewpoints are welcome in discussions, but the comment should also include information relevant to the chapter being discussed. That is, the comment incorporates definitions, theories, or concepts introduced in the book chapter and powerpoint slides. A 7 point comment has better grammar and is more readable than a 6 point comment

4-5 points


The comment presents little or no new information and answers only a few of the topics proposed in the discussion. However, 1 to 2 point comments may provide important social presence and contribute to a collegial atmosphere. A 5 point comment has better grammar and is more readable than a 4 point comment

2-3 points

Below average

The comment adds very little value to the discussion, answering only one minor facet of the question. A 3 point comment has better grammar and is more readable than a 2 point comment

0-1 point


A comment is missing or late (0 points), or adds no value to the discussion, but there the student did write something (1 point). All comments must be made no later than 10:00 pm on the due date to receive even the 1 point


  1. SUBSTANTIAL: Messages should relate to the subject matter and provide information, opinions or questions about that subject matter. They may relate the subject matter to something personal, but they should remain academic in their focus.
  2. CONCISE: Studies have shown that messages that are several screens long do not get many replies. To write an effective message, attempt to use a single screen if possible. Try to get the point and focus of your message across so that it is clear what you are saying.
  3. PROVOCATIVE: The discussion board is an interactive medium. The more interaction there is between students the better. A good message is one that prompts others to reply or object. A focused and pointed message that produces replies from other learners in that class in moving the discussion forward is having an impact on the learning environment.
  4. HERMENEUTICAL: The discussion board is a place where ideas are interpreted and language is explored. To be hermeneutical is to interpret. A good message should explore, explain, or expand on a concept or connection. The message should not simply state something, but rather expand upon an idea.
  5. TIMELY: A good message appears in the context of similar messages in the message log. If you get on irregularly, your message will appeal late and out of context with what is currently happening on the board. Log on regularly and reply to messages in a timely fashion.
  6. LOGICAL: A good message that is not a question should contain a logical argument. This means is should contain a clearly stated conclusion of thesis supported by premises, reason, evidence or grounds of belief.
  7. GRAMMATICAL: A good, clear, concise message should be well-written and free of typos and sentence fragments.

Chapter 1: Here is this first graded discussion question, related to Chapter 1 and worth 10 points: First, what was wrong with the Ghostbusters ESP experiment (video link) at the

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