organization behavior Doing Discussion Questions Right Expanded Grading Rubric From the assigned readings, select one topic for which you will lead the

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From the assigned readings, select one topic for which you will lead the discussion in the forum this week. Early in the week, reserve your selected topic by posting your response (reservation post) to the Discussion Area, identifying your topic in the subject line. By the due date assigned, research your topic and start a scholarly conversation as you respond with your initial or primary post to your own reservation post in the Discussion Area. Make sure your response does not duplicate your colleagues’ responses.
Some of the main topics (Individual Differences Themes) this week include:

  • Diversity
  • Values
  • Personality
  • Perception
  • Attribution

Other potential topics and subtopics exist in the readings.

Be very specific with the topic you choose (e.g., which personality theories or something about personality that you are analyzing).

As the beginning of a scholarly conversation, your initial post should be:

  • Succinct—no more than 500 words.
  • Provocative—use concepts and combinations of concepts from the readings to propose relationships, causes, and/or consequences that inspire others to engage (inquire, learn). In other words, take a scholarly stand.
  • Supported—scholarly conversations are more than opinions. Ideas, statements, and conclusions are supported by clear research and citations from course materials as well as other credible, peer-reviewed resources.

For grading:

  • The reservation post and initial post are assessed in the rubric line item “Quality of initial posting.”
  • Neither the reservation post nor the initial post count toward days of participation.
  • Follow-up posts made throughout the week to your colleagues and professor will apply to participation points in the rubric.
  • All posts will be assessed for writing mechanics and information literacy. Be sure to review the expanded rubric for more details on grading criteria.

Doing Discussion Questions Right as an
Emergent Doctor of Business

© 2015 South University

Doing Discussion Questions Right as an Emergent Doctor of Business Administration 2

Learning to address discussion questions properly represents one of the most challenging tasks for
online students. Students sometimes approach the forums as if the objective is to “get a right answer.”
However, discussion questions may not have a single right answer. In other words, discussion
questions are less about getting a “right answer” and more about engaging in a “right process” of
research, application, and conversation. At the doctoral level, scholars possess the skills to concisely
articulate persuasive, supported arguments that evaluate and synthesize multiple sources of
information. Accordingly, doctoral level discussions are succinct, strategic conversations that build
upon existing knowledge to create new knowledge.

Key Definitions:

• Assignment: Consists of the reservation post and the initial (content) post.

• Participation: Consists of follow up comments and responses to others’ posts.

Let’s start with a brief summary of what assignment and follow up responses should accomplish
in discussion forums:

• Your reservation post is a brief “placeholder” to let others know the topic you will be
researching for your in-depth initial response. The purpose of the reservation post is to
encourage breadth and depth to discussions by avoiding redundant initial posts.

• Your Initial post to a discussion should analyze your reserved topic using the information you
gathered from your readings in the textbooks, research articles, independent scholarly papers,
etc., and then present your arguments as to how best to address the given issue(s), using your
research as evidence for your views. In other words, make a supported point.

• Your reading and follow up responses to others should not be a general acceptance of their
opinion, but rather something that challenges them to defend their stated response, or
something that presents an alternate idea or additional analysis. Again, research should be
used as evidence in your follow up responses. Follow up responses should display good
academic decorum.

To dig a little deeper into the mechanics of doing a discussion questions right consider:

An important aspect of doctoral development is being able to present comprehensive arguments in a
concise manner. In most courses, your initial response should be no more than 500 words in length.
Length is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Posts must be both substantive and clear regardless
of length. Make sure to provide one or two clear points or conclusions in your initial post so that
others can respond. Consider dialogue forums as analogous to a scholarly conversation that might
occur in a face-to-face classroom. Support your answers with examples and research. Cite your
research using the correct APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. By
the end of the week, respond to the specified number of classmates and your instructor (see rubric).

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Doing Discussion Questions Right as an Emergent Doctor of Business Administration 3

Also keep in mind the need to participate in the course on several days per week (see the rubric).
Participating on the minimum number of days does not ensure full participation points. Participate in
the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view
with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between one or
more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Follow-up posts should also be substantive and include
support from examples and correctly cited research when possible. Follow-up posts usually should
not exceed 300 words. Often, they will be approximately 100 to 200 words in length. Remember
though, substance is more important than word count. Simply agreeing or disagreeing is not
considered substantive. One or two sentences are not usually considered substantive. The dialogues
should be useful conversations that analyze topics both broadly and deeply, providing evidence
(research) that supports your response.

Done “right,” discussion forums can provide one of the most important learning experiences in your
doctoral development.

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