7 January 2002

Forum Rules and Grading

Dr. David W. Robinson

The Rules

1. No personal attacks or insults. If you don't like what someone says, answer calmly and intelligently.

2. Don't waste our time. Put some thought into what you say. "I hated the reading" or "It was cool" is not good enough. Be brilliant., or at least be interesting.

3. Stay on the topic.

4. When dealing with matters of conscience or faith, be respectful of differing views. This is not an appropriate place to evangelize.

Violating these rules egregiously or repeatedly will get you banned from the list for three days. That means three fewer days to improve your participation grade.

Grading the Forum

The main criterion in grading will be the number of posts, and I will arrive at a curved grade reflecting this. You may post as much as you want. I will delete off-topic posts. I will tag one-liner posts and discount them when I do the grading, so try to frame a complete, substantial thought when you post. I will deal similarly with posts like "Yeah, I agree with what that guy said." Finally, I will take into consideration the quality of the post content when arriving at a grade. This means I will evaluate the writing contained in the posts according to the usual collegiate criteria -- clarity of thought and organization, neatness, originality, etc.


(quantity of posts) - (trivial posts) + (high quality posts) = PARTICIPATION GRADE

Remember that this is a part of your grade over which you have complete control. If you don't post very much, you may get a big surprise at the end of the term when everything is averaged together. Participation (i.e., in the forum) is 25% of your final grade.

Note: I have had a few people worry whether a student who posts an outrageously large amount of material will throw off the grade scale for the rest of the class. My answer to this is no, I am not an idiot, and you should be worrying about your OWN posts, not somebody else's.

If you ask me how I arrive at the Participation Grade, I will refer you to this document.