At the beginning of the semester, students will decide collectively on an alternative online platform (such as a Facebook group or online blog) to use for further class discussion. The engagement with the class through this alternative platform will be voluntary, but active participants will receive extra credit toward their final grade.
This year, students chose a Facebook group. There were a few house rules:
- **Be considerate of your colleagues.
**Treat all opinions with mutual respect. This will help build the trust and foundation both in and out of class to create a stimulating conversation. Consideration means: No derogatory language, no personal attacks, and no graphic / disturbing media. It’s okay to have a friendly discussion about a topic that not everyone agrees about, as long as folks are considerate.
- **This is for you. When you comment, add value.
**We encourage you to use this as a chance to contribute to the conversation through questions and responses. Comments like “great,” “nice” or “thumbs up” do not add a lot of value to the discussion. Use the group as a chance to learn from each other and to hear different perspectives.
- **What happens in the group stays in the group.
**Respect your colleagues’ privacy and do not share their posts outside of the group without their permission.
- **What’s shared online stays online.
**We have all heard plenty of photos, comments, and responses that have gone on to haunt someone. Please do be considerate and thoughtful that everything seems to be permanent on the Internet.
- **Any posts that don’t meet these rules will be removed.
**If we find content that is inconsiderate (defamatory, derogatory, etc.), we will remove that comment and have the right to block the individual responsible for it.
In order to earn extra credit and boost their grades, students had to do the following:
- Post and introduce one article seven out of the ten final weeks of class. Be sure to introduce the post and, ideally, include the accompanying article photo to grab people’s attention.
- Comment in response to your post or someone else’s post during seven weeks. The comment should be thoughtful and meaningful, beyond a “good job” or “thumbs up.”