City Vision Discussion Forum Rubric and Suggestions

We expect that students will spend an estimated 1-2 hours to post one initial message, one hour to read posts from 5+ students (presumes that a student doesn't read every post), and an estimated 1 hour to post two reply messages. Discussion forum grading will be based on the following items:
  • Initial Discussion forum posts should be around 400 words; responses should be around 200 words.
  • Students must demonstrate comprehension of the material and achievement of the related learning objectives related to that forum. Be sure to read the learning objectives for the week / assignment. 
  • Students should demonstrate critical thinking and use outside material researched beyond the assigned readings.
  • The goal of course forums is to have scholarly dialog among peers combining both the strengths of in-person class discussion and providing concise, professional quality writing (similar to a well thought-out academic or scholarly blog) and responding in a way that adds value to others' writings.
  • Students should not use citations in APA format for references in discussion forum posts. Instead, students should use hyperlinks to reference the sources that they use. If a book or journal article is referenced, simply mention it by name.

Discussion forum responses:

  • Students should post at least 2 responses interacting with the ideas in their peers' posts.
  • These posts should go beyond superficial comments like "Good job!" but should follow a format like the following:
    • 1) Summarize what they said to show that you understand it.
    • 2) Acknowledge what was good about their comments.
    • 3) Offer at least one constructive suggestion about how they could advance their thinking further, or ask about something that was unclear.
    • 4) Close by re-affirming what was good in what they said, or add in your own idea inspired by their comments.

Grading rubric:

Discussion forums use the same high-level grading rubric as for course major writing projects, including
  • Content Knowledge (25%)
    • This is the demonstration of relevant knowledge from the material for the week, as assessed by the discussion forum's question.
  • Critical Thinking (25%)
    • Note that critical thinking is very different from criticism.
    • Critical thinking means understanding and engagement with relevant issues for a given topic.
  • Communication (25%)
    • This deals with the clarity and correct mechanics / usage of what is expressed.
  • Application (25%)
    • In this context, this means that the discussion forum post shows how the material is relevant to the learner's own situation.