Responses to Classical Theories of Liberty and Fairness Discussion Board

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Responses to Classical Theories of Liberty and Fairness Discussion Board

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In order to complete a Discussion Board Assignment, students will upload one Question for Consideration and two Responses to Other Students. Details about each are provided below:

a) Questions for Consideration (QFC):

These posts are due by the beginning of class every time you see “(QFC Due)” on the syllabus.

A “Question For Consideration” may be about any philosophical aspect of the assigned texts we have read for that module, but (1) it must be clearly and directly tied to a text by indicating a sentence or passage quoted from the text, and the page number on which the sentence or passage was found. (2) Not only should a selection and a page number appear, but a philosophical question about the selection or its context should be supplied. (3) Thoughtful and excellently prepared quotes supply a reason the student is asking that question, and further, (4) hazard an educated guess as to the answer. By an educated guess, I mean a guess informed by the text, so the best QFCs will include (5) a quote from another point in the text to support one’s own answer to one’s own question.

Students will sometimes be asked to volunteer to share their QFC with the class. If students do not volunteer, I proceed to start calling on students to read their question aloud. So aim for a question that you are unafraid to share with the rest of the group. We can be very helpful in working out the answers to questions about the text together, so consider the class a collection of allies in the struggle for understanding.

b) Responses to Other Students (ROS):

Your responses are due by the beginning of class every time you see “(ROS Due)” on the syllabus.

Each student must respond to at least two other students’ posts. Comments on others’ posts must be between 100 and 250 words. These responses will be evaluated according to their engagement with other posts and according to the quality of the writing, thinking, and discussion. That means that the response should not just repeat what someone else has written, but should respond and comment on the previous posts or questions, advance and deepen the discussion. You can do this in various ways: mention an observation, claim, or supporting reason raised in the text that deepens the discussion; restate what another student has said, or restate a claim from the text, and then ask a question or suggest a clarification that might lead to a deeper discussion; offer an example (perhaps from personal experience) that either supports a claim being discussed or calls it into question; or suggest a different way to think about an issue.

It is crucial that everyone be very respectful of each other in the discussion threads. Take an extra minute before posting in a thread to make sure that your words and tone are appropriate—especially when disagreeing with a fellow student.

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