Qualities of a Good Discusser
I have said that this course is a participatory course -- a "learning community" -- in which your class "presence" is crucial. I have said that "the visible heart of our community is the discussion board." Well, how will you and I know if you are "present" on the discussion board and in class discussion in the active manner we need you to be?
Here is a list of traits to practice in discussion that help create the successful interaction required for healthy community:
- consistent and timely involvement
- willingness to initiate
- raising appropriate, interesting, and provocative topics
- adequate support for your views
- taking responsibility for keeping the conversation going
- willingness to listen and respond to others
- willingness to learn from others
- respect for and toleration of difference
- tenacity when you feel right
- a willingness to change when you don't feel so right
- clarity and eloquence in expression
- signs of intellectual growth
- decent manners
I will ask questions like:
- "Did you actively contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive to better learning by all?"
- "Did you help others do their best work?"
- "Was the class better because you were in it?"