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ALERT:  These work samples are for review only.  Please do not copy or disseminate to others. Other examples for sample courses are available by invitation to visit another site.

Sample Threaded Discussion

SFTY 375 Plant Propulsion Investigation, Faculty Developer, Dr. Kent "Andy" Anderson
This course was designed as a "master course template" from which course sections are copied and then taught by several different instructors.

Directions in Control Panel Folder of Information for Instructors

In the Discussion Board area of the course site, some case study discussion forums and threads are posted, beginning with the Module 1 Case Study: DeHavillandOtter Accident Investigation Case Study. These are optional and will only be viewable by the students when you make them available. They are provided in case you wish to use them in teaching the course, or in case you wish to use them as a model for other case studies that you might add.

If you wish to include these case studies, you will need to do these steps, in progressive stages when it is time to begin each part of the discussion:

• select the forum and choose modify
• at the settings below the forum box, make the forum available, and submit
• after submitting the modification, click the forum title and go to the first thread
• at the top right panel, go to Change status to: and make sure Published shows, then click Go(this will make the thread available)
• after 1-2 days of discussion, repeat the process to make the 2nd thread available, and so forth, for the remaining threads

When you click the folder title above "Adding Case Studies to Discussions," you will find additional directions. You would, of course, use your own knowledge, experience, and style to respond appropriately for what your students actually post.

SUGGESTION: Print this set of directions and the information in the items within this folder for ease of reference as you monitor the discussions.

Module 1 – Case Study: DeHavillandOtter Accident Investigation

Students will not see this forum until you make it "available." When you view the Discussion Board menu item, you will see the following phrase in small print when the forum is not yet viewable by students.

This forum is currently unavailable.

Multiple discussion threads are preloaded and prenumbered in the Discussion Board area for your convenience. It is up to you to decide when to provide what information within the time frames for each thread, or to decide if you want to provide anything in a different order. If you change the order, make sure you change the numbering. For each thread, you should see in the Status column the word Unavailable. When the thread is in this status, you cannot modify it and students cannot view it. You must Change the Status to: Publishedbefore you can make changes to the thread and in order for the students to see the thread.

After the first thread, it's your call as to the best time to reveal what information.

REMINDER: You may change the order and number of thread-revelation if it ever seems appropriate to do so.

NOTE: This is simply a display of what information was posted. You cannot view the actual files related to the accident investigation.

Thread 1-DeHavilland-Otter Accident Case Study:

The Discussion Board has prepostedinformation for this thread of the case study, beginning with the Otter Introduction PowerPoint. Students are directed to kick-off the investigation with a focus on the engine and power.

Thread 2A-Engine and Aircraft Configuration: This thread gives students the opportunity to speculate before you give them additional information.
Thread 2B-Engine and Aircraft Configuration: In this thread, you give them more information about the Otter engine configuration and the Otter Picture, asking Whatelse can you tell from the picture?

Thread 3A-Wreckage and Engine: In this thread, you give students a chance to speculate about the wreckage and engine before revealing more information.
Thread 3B-Wreckage and Engine: In this thread, you will reveal Otter Weather
Thread 3C-Wreckage and Engine: In this thread, you will reveal Otter Maintenance
Thread 3D-Wreckage and Engine: In this thread, you will reveal Otter More Facts
Thread 3E-Wreckage and Engine: In this thread, you will reveal Otter AugmentorTube

Thread 4A-Conclusion to Investigation: In this thread, you give students the final pieces of the investigation with the Otter Conclusion and ask follow-up questions about what really happened and why.

Directions at Discussion Board for Students

Module 1 DeHavillandOtter Accident Investigation

This forum presents an accident case study that will facilitate an understanding and application of reciprocating engine design and construction. This case study is an actual accident scenario and you are expected to investigate the accident. Participation in the case study is crucial to an effective investigation.

TIP: You will learn much more from participating in the investigation without any previous knowledge of the events or circumstances. But if you are familiar with the accident, or have done a little research and discovered the causes of the accident, please allow your classmates the opportunity to work the investigation as it unfolds.

Go to the first discussion thread of this forum to start the investigation!

NOTE: There are multiple stages to this investigation. You will first see one thread and be able to participate for a couple of days. Then another thread will be made available for a couple of days, and so on. So make sure that you stay on top of the discussion.


Sample Assignment with Discussion

MMC 4210 Media Legalities, Faculty, Dr. Pat Hadley

Answer, Analyze, and Exchange

View video on "Evolution of Media Law." Then revieweach of the following statements. They are in two groups – the first about "Law v. Ethic" and the second about "Complaints v. Priorities." They may be "true," "false," or "controversial."

Law v. Ethics

Statement 1.The prescribed rules for human conduct in ethics are different from those in law.

Statement 2.The punishments and consequences for violation of laws have greater impact than those for violations of ethics.

Statement 3.Speedier consequences follow the violation of ethics than the violation of laws.

Statement 4.Although a person can do something that is legal, it may not be the "right thing to do."

Complaints v. Priorities

Statement 5.The path of law begins with a complaint.

Statement 6.All citizens of the U.S. have a right to unlimited media access.

Statement 7.Everyone should use "fighting words" carefully because the free speech clause of the Constitution does not protect words that are likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action.

For each statement, describe in 2-3 sentences whether you agree or disagree, the reasons for your agreement or disagreement, and an example of what you mean. Title your file "Reflection on Laws."

Send your file to your assigned partner and use the list below to review your partner’s paper, using just a couple of sentences for each item. Then send a copy to me by email and your review to your partner.

a. Compare how your papers are alike and different.

b. Summarize the argument and kind of proof (evidence and/or reasoning) used for each statement.

c. For at least one of your partner’s statements, make one recommendation for a new type of argument, evidence, or way of thinking that could improve the argument.

When you receive your review, reply with a statement of what was helpful and any question(s) you might have about anything unclear in the review.

After that, summarize the key concepts emerging from your exchange in the "Reflections" discussion board for this week.


Sample Video Script for MMC 4210


Stages of Constructive Controversy (to post with Week 9)

Hello. In this message, I’d like to reassure you about some of your concerns, as well as focus your attention on some important milestones as you prepare for your upcoming "stages of constructive controversy".

First, in dealing with any controversy, you can choose to argue in a way that gets you no place at all, that makes tensions and barriers stronger, or in a way that moves you closer to changes and improvements. It’s this latter approach that falls within the area of "constructive controversy." You might think of the upcoming debates as role plays, as if you were responsible for the outcome of a decision. With your developing skills in preparing media case briefs and policy analyses, you should now be able to prepare valid arguments, and this can be very important when you are advocating for or against a particular media policy or position.

Second, as a team preparing to engage in constructive controversy, you must know where your team stands on key aspects of your assigned issue. Where are you in agreement? On what points is there disagreement? What facts, issues, laws and policies seem most crucial as you develop your strategy?

These complex issues will force your groups to develop ways to work efficiently as a team. Sometimes teams get bogged down, as when people try too hard to be agreeable, or look for ways to escape controversy. In media law, that’s just not practical. Controversy permeates all of media law—just lookat Microsoft, Napster and debates over offensive speech and indecency. Sometimes, the amount of a team member’s contribution itself becomes a controversy. Actually, it’s natural for someone in a group to take on the role of a leader and others to gravitate to different roles.

While you can’t be responsible for what your team members do, you can be responsible for your own work. You are expected to share your experiences and best thinking; to express agreements and disagreements, to answer questions and explain; to be critical of ideas and not people; and to change your mind when you see evidence or logic that indicates it’s appropriate to do so.

Please take some time to review the guidelines you received in the fourth week of this course for your "Constructive Controversy Team Assignment." That’s where you were given information about the minimum research requirements and your individual and team tasks. The activities posted at your course site each week also will guide you through the tasks to be completed.

As you review the guidelines, I hope you can see that enough has been built into the individual tasks for you to receive full credit for your own work and thinking. In addition, you will have a "team evaluation" form to complete and turn in to me. With this form, you can rate and comment on the performance of your teammates, and I’ll use the results in assigning the final grades for the course.

Please notice, too, that your team’s position statement for your topic must be posted by the eleventh week. In the process of reaching consensus, it doesn’t matter so much who does what, as it matters that you each contribute and do the needed tasks. These tasks include

1) giving the name of the controversy topic

2) stating your understanding of the topic

3) answering and asking questions of each other about opinions and information

4) adding to the information given by your teammates

5) keeping the discussion on track

6) summarizing the content or main issues as they arise and at the end of discussion

7) bringing up any differences in opinions or information

8) reaching agreement with each other and preparing your statement

Then, by the twelfth week, you should have read the consensus statements for every team and submitted your own short replies with individual questions and possible counterarguments.

Please make the effort to start scheduling your debate time now. This is very important to do in advance because you must communicate with the members of your opposing team, too. If this gets too complicated for you, I can post a schedule of possible times and let you choose what works for you. But first, try to schedule your debates on your own for the fourteenth and fifteenth weeks of the class. You may choose an earlier week if all team members agree and you obtain the approval of your mentor or me.

When you review your guidelines, notice also that your debates will begin with the "pro" team’s postings of individual responses, followed by the "con" team. These initial postings will be each student’s posting of 100 words or less of separate content and writing. After these initial postings, replies begin, again starting first with "pro" and followed by "con." After this, you’ll be free to have open debate until the moderator closes the session, at which time you can post your individual closing statement of up to five sentences. The transcript of your debates will then be available to the whole class. And every class member may make comments, ask questions, and discuss the issues on the Discussion Board for each controversy topic.

If in doubt about what’s important, please review how points are assigned and notice that quality is judged on:

One. the clarity of your stated position, argument, or response, and use of sound reasoning

Two. your supporting evidence from readings or resources

Three. your explanation of analysis of issues in a way that makes it clear how you decide or stand on the case

Four. your courteous and professional communication style

Five. your compliance with instructions for how to proceed in the debates

I hope that you will find this culminating part of the class stimulating as well as challenging. Instead of just memorizing some laws, you and your teammates will be developing persuasive arguments that are analogous to those that are being prepared or have been presented in regulatory agencies and courts across the country. This process will serve as a real-world way for you to demonstrate your ability to uncover the underlying assumptions, intentions, and implications of evolving and converging policy processes. As described in the syllabus, this course was never meant to give you an exhaustive review of communication law, but to focus instead on developing your analysis and insight into key topics. And your critical thinking about the issues, processes, interests and effects on stakeholders will help you to be more fully prepared for the rapid pace of change in media law. You will be better able to examine the interests served, to identify how the new technologies give rise to, and reflect, various social, cultural, political and economic issues, and to understand how media legalities might be different in the future.

Good luck on your research and your future debates.