These are the
guidelines that should be followed when posting messages in the discussion
groups or sending email related to this class. The first nine apply to the
group that contains your graded assignments for the course (Discussion
- Anytime any
of us posts for this course, we are stating an argument and not a truth.
Because Psychology is a science, you are to support your arguments with
information found in the text, class notes or other scientific sources.
Unless I ask, your personal experiences or unsupported opinions are not
acceptable answers to the post questions. Statements such as "It is wrong
that…" or "No one should…" are statements of truth. If you think "It is wrong
that…" say "In my opinion it is wrong that…." and then state why you think it
is wrong and what source(s) you are using to back up what you think. I
am also biased towards statements that begin I feel, I think, I believe.
Assert your position, instead of "I think larger animals have slower
metabolisms," say "larger animals have slower metabolisms," and then provide
several valid reasons why this is the case. If we
are to grow intellectually, we must be free to challenge any thought we read
in email or in a discussion group. We must also learn not to become too
defensive if someone challenges our thinking. Try not to respond emotionally.
Address yourself to the arguments or thoughts presented. Be explicit in your
posts and support your thoughts with information from the text and/or the
chapter notes/slides. Remember that it’s difficult to grow if our thoughts are
not challenged. When you disagree with what someone says, it is important that
you be polite to others and to support your side of the argument with material
from the website, text or other credible sources. If you don’t want it done
to you, don’t do it to others. On the web, it is considered impolite to
correct another person’s spelling, grammar or syntax. If you wouldn’t correct
someone’s grammar or word choice in a normal conversation, don’t do it online.
you support your argument with information from the text, class notes or a
website, it should look like this. You say
"Producer organisms are the most important
organisms in an ecosystem."
This because in the text in
Chapter 1, page 3 it says "these organisms extract nutrients from the soil and
the air and combine these nutrients into the building blocks of life using
energy from the sun. All other organisms survive on earth because of the
photosynthetic and assimilating activities of producers. Without them all
other organisms would perish. Producer organisms provide us food, medicines,
oxygen to breathe, and as humans a variety of aesthetic qualities that make
Notice I stated
my argument (the text in green)
and then backed it up with
information from the book
(the text in orange).
The color coding is only used in my example here to make it easy for you to
see what is an argument and what is support. The discussion group software
will not support colored fonts and you are not required to use them. I
included the chapter and page numbers where the information I used is located
in the textbook. If you use my class notes, include the chapter and slide
number of the slide you are using to support your argument. If you use a
website, include the complete (absolute) URL for the site. A complete URL
looks like this http://www.greenriver.edu.
This is what I expect to see every time I ask you to support your argument.
- Anytime I
assign a website (like the netiquette link in the first contact), I want you
to talk about specific information on that site. Don't just say "the page has
information about the rules of etiquette for using the internet". You could
say that without ever having visited the site. Find several specific things
that intrigue you, say what they are and what you think about them. Including
specific content from an assigned website is the only way I know you visited
the site and read the material on it. Without this I will assume you did not
read the material. Check out these URLs to
- If the
meaning or intent of a message is not clear, it is acceptable to ask for a
clarification. You may also communicate exactly what you find unclear. It is
not acceptable to call people names or critique another’s posts with words
like ridiculous, stupid, or foolish. Because you disagree with another person,
it doesn’t mean they are wrong or that they should be treated with disrespect.
When you disagree with me or one of your classmates you must support your
thoughts with information from the text/websites/class notes as stated in
number two above. You should be cautious when posting to the discussion group
or sending email messages. Since our communications are asynchronous, or not
in real time, you will have time to compose your messages. Take your time,
make sure you have followed the rules and that your sentences are
grammatically correct. Have someone else read them if you are not sure.
Postings are public. If you make a mistake, it will be there for the entire
class and possibly others to see.
- Since a
person cannot see your face when reading your postings/emails, it may be
difficult for them to determine your emotions. If you are feeling strong
emotions when composing a post/email, describe them so there will be no
misunderstanding of how you feel. Remember also that it is easy to say most
anything in a post or email and oftentimes people will say things that they
would never say if they were face-to-face with a person. Be careful what you
say and weigh your words carefully. If you are angry when you compose, you
might want to have someone else read what you wrote before you send it just to
make sure you are not saying something you will later be sorry you said.
- This class is
not an appropriate forum for the exchange of religious beliefs. While I
respect your right to subscribe to the religion of your choice, religion is a
private matter and not a part of this course.
- If you
violate these rules, I will send you a private email explaining your errors
and suggesting ways that you might correct them.
- I can remove
any person's comments from the discussions and I will if I find any posting
impolite, in violation of these rules, or in poor taste.
- Remember the
general rule is to be polite and use good judgment in all online
communications. This applies to email as well.
- For a more
general discussion of good behavior on the web see
I hope your
online experience is a positive one for you and that you enjoy the opportunity
to interact electronically with me and your classmates .
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