COURSE REFLECTIONResourcesPSYC Discussion Participation Scoring Guide.G.R.E.A.T. Discussions and Feedback With Checklist.Congratulations! You have reached the final unit of this course, and your journey through your first course at Capella University is almost complete. Communicating effectively through persuasion is an important skill that can help you in all aspects of your life. In this course, you have developed a foundation for critical thinking and persuasive writing that will be used throughout your program of study and can be applied in your professional work.In Unit 9, you had an opportunity to reflect on critical thinking skills. For this discussion, you will review the course competencies in the syllabus and reflect on the many competencies you have developed over the past ten weeks. In your discussion post, describe the following:In what ways have you built your knowledge about psychology, your analytic and other critical thinking skills, your skills in library research, and professional communication skills?Of which accomplishments are you most proud? Why?Which skills do you believe you still need to work on? Why?G.R.E.A.T. DISCUSSION AND FEEDBACK GUIDELINES WITH CHECKLISTIntroductionEngaging in learning through participation in course discussions is a result of effective communications. This document guides you in creating substantive discussion posts and providing responses to create a learning community. The guidelines in Parts 1, 2, and 3 assure that communications are effective. Use the checklist in Part 4 as a guide for self-assessment before posting in the courseroom.1. Substantive Discussion PostsAt the core of all Capella University courses is a public discussion of issues pertinent to the topics at hand. Typically, in each unit you will compose postings as directed in the unit activities. Your postings are placed in the area of the courseroom where discussion takes place. You are required to post substantively on the specific topic. You may ask, what is meant by substantively?To understand what comprises a substantive discussion post, remember these components of a G.R.E.A.T. posting:Grammar rules apply! Make sure your posts are written correctly and effectively.Relevance is important. Your posts should pertain to the readings, the assignment, or to the ongoing discussion.Engage your audience! Incorporate your interpretation of the topic or issue. Apply and analyze research.Add value to the discussion. Provide insight, connect current events, share career connections, and/or explain your positions and perspectives.Timeliness is important! Post your main post by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. and your interactive posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.A general guideline for your main posting is to answer the assignment in 300–800 words. If you have more to say about a topic, you should do so. If you have said everything that you can about a question and cannot meet the general guideline, it is better to post what you have than to add irrelevant material just to increase the word count. Your instructor will evaluate your postings using the assignment’s scoring guide and based on what you wrote rather than how many words you used.2. Responses to Other LearnersCapella learners bring a wealth of experiences to the course, building and engaging our courseroom learning community. As a member of the learning community, you are expected to respond to the posts of your peers. Your responses should address the substance of what was written. Learning is a social experience; others are depending on your insightfulness and contributions. A good technique is to react and ask the author questions about what he or she wrote. This accomplishes two useful things: first, you will think more carefully about what was written if you have to ask a question about it, and second, it stimulates discussion.You should be supportive and encouraging of your peers. If you read something that you like or that you think was well written, say so. This may only entail writing a comment such as, ‘That is a really interesting point of view,’ or ‘I agree completely,’ or ‘You express your ideas so clearly.’ However, simple agreement or disagreement should be accompanied with substantive reasons, examples, and evidence. Concluded by asking questions is an excellent way to encourage others to share their experiences with the topic.Finally, we believe that Capella learners find it helpful and enjoyable to take time to build and participate in our online learning community. Your peers are valuable resources for you on the topic being discussed. Typically, your peers have different experiences in their career fields and have a great deal to share with you. All are interested in forming close ties to you and others—ties that can provide support when you need it, and voices with whom to debate and share ideas. Being a member of a good learning community is among the most valuable aspects of your time at Capella as you achieve your educational goals.3. Guidelines for Effective FeedbackWhat is Effective Feedback?One of your responsibilities to yourself and your learning community is to contribute to the process of giving and receiving feedback. To help support a positive learning experience at Capella, there are guidelines for giving and receiving such feedback. Substantive detail in your feedback is a part of your weekly interactive learning discussions. However, most courses at Capella also use a formal peer review process for giving and receiving feedback on course papers and projects.Effective feedback:Honors competence and reinforces behaviors.Aligns expectations and course work priorities.Fills gaps in knowledge.Supports individuals to take corrective action.Directs individuals toward meeting learning goals.Giving FeedbackThe following is a list of tips for giving effective feedback.Plan your feedback. Making notes first may help you decide what you want to say and how you want to say it.Direct your comments strictly to the work and ideas in the discussion without any personal comments.Be specific. If something is not working, identify it and describe why it does not work for you.Open new avenues for change by suggesting alternative ways to accomplish the same task or goal.Be liberal with praise for an idea you like.Be diplomatic and honest at the same time.Ask questions for clarity.Acknowledge valid points of view. Agree with what is true.Explain yourself. Go beyond saying, ‘Good point!’ Elaborate your comments with concisely written paragraphs.Receiving FeedbackThe following is a list of tips for receiving effective feedback.Listen at all times, even in an online environment.Be flexible and open-mined about the comments you are receiving.Carefully consider what is being said before judging the merit and whether to accept or reject it.Play devil’s advocate with your own work.Prioritize the feedback you receive. Some learners use green, yellow, and red to categorize their revisions according to importance.Remember, someone who disagrees with your work or ideas is not necessarily against you or your ideas. This person may be your best friend and support.4. Checklist for Discussion PostsAsk yourself the following questions when participating in the class dialog to improve the quality of the discussion and to support collaborative learning:Does my contribution fit with the dialog, or should I start a separate thread?Are my ideas logically organized into a persuasive argument with clearly written and mechanically clean prose?Are my ideas worthwhile, or do they just take up space?Is the central thesis statement clear whether it is direct or implied?Can the reader easily determine what my main point is?Does it provide sufficient, relevant, and interesting details?Are there sufficient explanations or examples to support generalizations?Does this contribution provide a series of points that add up to an argument supporting the main point?Does the contribution proceed logically from point to point? Is the paragraph structure logical? Are there appropriate transition words between ideas? Does it flow?Are there any contradictions? If so, are the points connected?Has discussion area etiquette been observed?Is my point of view clear to the reader?Is the tone appropriate and respectful of others’ ideas?Is my contribution concise, precise, and free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors?If other authors are referenced, is the appropriate APA reference citation provided? (This rule is in effect in Units 2–10.)
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