In addition to attending and participating in class, each week this semester you’ll be expected to contribute to a forum conversation on this webpage.

During the first half of the semester, we’ll post a prompt at the start of the week. You’ll be expected to add at least one comment between the end of class on Monday and the start of class on Wednesday. Your comment could respond directly to our prompt, engage with other students’ comments, or offer a question related to the prompt. You are welcome to comment more than once, or to comment again later in the week, if you find yourself engaged by the conversation.

To earn credit for your forum comment, you need to offer something new to the conversation. This might be a new perspective on the prompt, a new piece of primary evidence that helps us explore the topic, a new question that hasn’t been asked. It might also be a substantive engagement with other students’ posts. We encourage you to be positive and complimentary about what other students have to say in the forum; the same community standards of behavior that would apply in class apply to your forum conversations. That said, it’s not enough just to agree with what someone else has written; find a way to offer something new to the discussion. This also means that before you post you should read what everyone else has written.

There is no minimum or maximum word count for your comments, but our expectation is that they will be fairly concise: if you can add something new to the conversation in just a few sentences, that’s great. Your style can be conversational – you don’t need to write a formal paper here! You’re also welcome to include links to online sources and to post images. If you’d like to share a video for any reason, please post a link to it rather than uploading it directly to the website.

To comment on a forum post, you’ll need to set up your profile on the course webpage.