Forum Posting Guidelines

For our courses, we expect that students will spend an estimated one-two 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. Forum grading will be based on the following items:

  • Forum posts should be at least 400 words.
  • Students must demonstrate comprehension of the material and achievement of the related learning outcomes related to that forum. Be sure to read the the learning outcomes. They are found at the top of the course lessons, as well as in the syllabus.
  • Students should demonstrate critical thinking, supporting their claims using relevant material from the lesson, as well as use outside material researched beyond the assigned readings and media.
  • The goal of course forums is to have scholarly dialogue among peers, which offers the strengths of in-person class discussion while providing concise, professional quality writing (similar to a well thought-out academic or scholarly blog).
  • Responses to other students should be at least 200 words and should provide substantial academic or professional constructive support to other students. Giving students ideas for how to improve their assignment counts for credit. Just telling a student “good job,” “great comment,” or something similar does not demonstrate that you actually read their post in detail, and does not add value. Therefore, it will result in a zero for the feedback score.
  • Students should demonstrate that they have read posts from 5+ students if possible, and reply to at least two other students’ forum posts.
  • Students are not required to use APA format for references in forum posts. Instead, students are encouraged to hyperlink relevant information when possible, using guidelines similar to that of a business blog – i.e. “Andrew Sears discuss new models of education in his blog post for the Christensen Institute.”
  • Grading rubric. The forum rubric may change from each forum, but a typical 3 point forum assignment would be as follows:
    • Post at least 1 comment (first post)                             0.3 point (10%)
    • Total comment (first post) word count is at least 400 0.3 point (10%)
    • At least 2 posts                                                            0.3 point (10%)
    • Total reply word count is at least 200                         0.1 point (3%)
    • Average post grade 2 points (67%)
      The average post grade is the faculty’s holistic assessment of the quality of your post. A high quality post will:

      • Address all aspects of the question in accordance with the parameters of the discussion and demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the discussion topic.
      • Comprehensively explores the ideas, thoughts, and elements of the topic and provides relevant evidence and information that demonstrates all of the following as applicable to the discussion prompt: clarity, relevance, depth, breadth, use of information resources, and logic.
      • Contributes to classroom conversations with replies, all of which were thoughtful, relevant, and contribute meaningfully to the conversation. Fully engages in the conversation with appropriate topic-based responses.
      • Displays clear control of syntax and mechanics. The organization of the work shows appropriate transitions and flow between sentences and paragraphs. Written work contains no errors and is very easy to understand.