There will be online discussions associated with most films (as indicated in the course schedule). You will be required to participate in all online discussions. You will be expected to discuss these films as historical sources in accordance with the directions given in the online Discussion Topic Introduction page for each discussion topic. The following is a guide as to what is expected of you in the discussions. In addition, the guide indicates how to get a good grade for your discussion participation. How does one 'discuss' assigned topics in this course? ‘Discussion' is the terminology used for online discussions: you may be more familiar with the terms 'tutorial' or 'seminar', they all mean the same thing for our purposes. How do I join in? When you enter the discussions area, you will see a discussion area folder. Click the folder to reveal discussion currently in progress (see the course schedule for specific discussion board times and topics. The class is divided into groups and you will be automatically guided into a group for each discussion. The discussion folder link will be visible only during the period the discussion is ‘open’, i.e. available for participation. The folder will not be visible before the discussion begins or after it closes. If you log on and do not see the link either the discussion has not yet begun or it has concluded. When the discussion period has concluded access to submit further posts will be closed off (locked) and you will no longer see the discussion link on your screen. Special note on opening and closing time frames. The exact times may be influenced by the amount of time your computer (or other) clock may be out of synchronization with the CEL system clock. The rule of thumb is not to cut things too closely. When in your discussions area, read the messages left there by others on the topic or, if the discussion is just beginning and you see no posts, contribute the first one to get things started. Interact by contributing more posts to the discussion. Remember each topic lasts for only the dates indicated in the course schedule, so there is not much time to procrastinate. You will get a bare pass grade for contributing a minimum pass requirement of at least three of your own original posts (see rubric below). Of course, to get better grades will probably want to contribute more than the minimum number of original posts. Allow yourself time to read the posts contributed by others and think about the movies and the assigned reading before participating. Your grades will improve if you demonstrate that you have read the reading(s) assigned with the film (as assigned in the topic introduction) by making specific references to that material. This will convey to your marker that you have made the effort to do the assigned readings and are not merely voicing personal ad hoc opinions and impressions simply to fulfill the minimum post quota to get a passing grade.
When alluding to assigned readings direct quotations should be kept to a minimum. The discussions are a venue for an informal exchange of ideas on the films so it is best to paraphrase. However, there may be exceptions to this depending on the point you wish to make: in such cases when either quoting or paraphrasing (to refer to a specific point or expression in the assigned reading), be sure to include page numbers (in parentheses) to indicate the exact passages you are referring to. How much should I participate and how long should my messages be? You will be graded for your participation just as in a 'live' course, which means for actively contributing to the discussion. The marker (either your professor or TAs depending on the arrangements made for each specific term) will monitor the progress of the discussions, but remember the important point is that you are expected to discuss your thoughts and opinions with the group