Please note: The assignments in this syllabus will be posted to the Main Forum each week and may contain additional information about the requirements and expectations. Be sure to carefully read those instructions and post any questions about them in the Questions for Week ___ thread.
In this course, students develop the ability to think clearly and critically. Practice includes developing writing skills that enable students to clearly present claims to support their conclusions and avoid reinforcing biases. Students are given the opportunity to analyze and discuss various types of media—including television, Internet, and print—to determine which sources provide the most reliable information. Topics addressed include the relationship between critical thinking and clear writing, credibility of sources, rhetorical devices, fallacies, unclear or misleading language, and the characteristics of various types of arguments.
I am available from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Central time) during most weekdays, afternoon and evenings on Saturday; however I attempt to reserve Sunday for my family.
If these times are not convenient for you, please let me know. I will be happy to accommodate your schedule, when possible. I am providing you with these times to make it easier to communicate with me, not to limit our contact. I am available to schedule appointments via phone, if necessary. I am here to help you succeed in any way I can.
For emergencies, when you are not able to gain access to messages on the student website, please send a message to my personal email address. In the event a third party needs to contact me, please direct them to my contact information. No third party should use your login credentials to gain access to the classroom.
Main: This is the main forum for the class and is where discussion is conducted. It has read-and-write access for everyone; however, please do not start new threads within this forum.
Chat Room: This is a read-and-write access forum. It is designed as a place to discuss issues not related to the course content. This is the forum to which we will send our bios.
Course Materials Forum: This is a read-only forum, which means you can read messages here but cannot send any. This is where the course syllabus and other important materials will be posted. Please note that the information in this forum and the Main forum ALWAYS trumps any information you may find on the Materials page.
Materials: This is a page where you can access the text, Knowledge Check
Quizzes, and many other materials referred to in the assignments. This page is not to be confused with the Course Materials forum. Assignment: This is where you will submit your assignments, and where I will post my feedback for your assignments. Individual Forum: You will see one forum with your name on it. This is a private forum, shared only by you and me, the facilitator. Your classmates will not have access to this forum. This is where you can ask questions about your individual assignments. However, if you have general questions about instructions of assignments, please post those in the Main forum, since other students may benefit by that exchange as well. Note: if the Assignment link is down, please use this forum to post your assignment until the Assignment link is restored.
Late assignments receive a10% deduction for each day they are late if assignments are not posted by 11:59 p.m. M.S.T. on the day they are due. Assignments more than 2 days late will not be accepted. Technological issues are not considered valid grounds for late assignment submission. In the event of a University of Phoenix server outage, students should submit assignments to the instructor and when systems are restored, submit those assignments according to syllabus instructions. Unless an Incomplete grade has been granted, learner assignments submitted after the last day of class will not be accepted.
Students will be held responsible for understanding and adhering to all policies contained within the following two documents:
University policies: You must be logged into the student website to view this document. Instructor policies: This document is posted in the Course Materials forum.
University policies are subject to change. Be sure to read the policies at the beginning of each class. Policies may be slightly different depending on the modality in which you attend class. If you have recently changed modalities, read the policies governing your current class modality.
Text and Other Materials
Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. (2012). Critical thinking (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
All electronic materials are available on the student website.
Technical Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1-877-832-4867. Participation and Discussion Question Grading
Great news! The associate level DQ/participation requirements have changed. The reason for the change is due to having discussion every week instead of having discussion during alternative weeks as in the past. The new rules are that students must post six DQ/participation posts over a minimum of three days during a seven-day work week. This will also help students become accustomed to the New Classroom. For that reason, we will no longer be using the blue question mark.
The green S will be used in this class to mark a DQ or participation response as substantive. If a post is not substantive, I will mark it as a red U. Remember, single words or short phrases such as “I agree” will not count as substantive posts.
In order to participate, use the discussion question response of other students. If another student makes a good point and you have an example to illustrate that point, share it. Also, if you have a question about another student’s response, ask it. Perhaps you do not agree with a student’s
response, if so, go ahead and share your objection.
The purpose is for the class to take on the feel of a “live” conversation, one where we have back-and-forth dialogue with one another about the week’s concepts. The class discussions can be one of the more enjoyable parts of the experience at University of Phoenix; however, the conversations are only as good as the contributions from all of us. I am confident that we will have lively, informative discussions here in CRT/205. Here are a few strategies you might employ when participating this week: Use a reference to back-up your statement.
Provide a website or news article for further discussion.
Share a related experience.
Comment on others’ experiences.
Ask other students questions about their ideas/experiences.
Consider an idea being discussed and offer a different perspective on it. Describe an interesting idea from the week’s reading and explain what insights you gained from it. Ask the group a question about the week’s reading.
Disagree (respectfully, of course) with a point that someone else has made. Discuss a related issue on which you would like some feedback. Describe how you have applied the recent course concepts to your personal/professional life.
Examples of DQ/Participation activity meeting the requirement Substantive DQ/Participation Messages per Day
You may earn five points for each substantive post up to a maximum of 30 points. If you post on only two days, the most points you may earn are capped at 20 points. If you post on only one day, the most points you may earn are capped at 10 points.
I will post discussion questions (DQs) and the suggested dates for which the
initial response to each DQ is due. There is a minimum 150 word count on discussion posts. You should have a minimum of six complex, well-constructed sentences—perhaps as many as ten—to share a substantive post with the class. You need at least two sentences to respond to what has been posted; You need at least another two to bring in new or expanded information; and You need the final two (at least) to explain the importance of what you are sharing. Remember include your response in the body of your post and not as an attachment. Please note: Discussion questions are considered an assignment. When you post an answer to the discussion question, points are earned on the substance of the Initial Response. Your participation grade is based on your substantive replies to others’ posts.
Let’s look at “substantive” participation
Substantive notes go beyond “I agree” or “I see your point;” “What do you think?” is not sufficient to move the discussion forward. Be specific with questions. Effective responses relate our explorations to personal experience and discovery beyond this classroom. Feel free to comment, critique, and suggest. Think about quality and frequency as you strike up a conversation with your classmates. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Does the post add a new thought, idea, critique, or example to the discussion rather than just reiterate what your classmates have already said? 2. Did you expand enough upon your idea for it to be useful for stimulating additional discussion? 3. Did you reflect upon ideas from or appropriate to the week’s reading materials? 4. Does your post encourage further discussion (and that does not always occur just because you ask a question)? There is a 50 minimum word count on participation posts. You should have a minimum of four sentences—perhaps as many as eight—to share a substantive post with the class. You need at least one sentences to respond to what has been posted; You need at least another two to bring in new or expanded information; and You need the final sentence (at least) to explain the importance of what you are sharing. Remember include your response in the body of your post and not as an attachment.
Communicating online is a bit different than in person so let’s talk about netiquette which is etiquette online. It is easy to forget when looking at words on a computer screen that there is a real person behind those words. There are some rules that I require to be followed in our communication (this applies to ALL communication during the class). 1. Remember that you do not have the benefit of voice intonation, facial expressions, body language or gestures to interpret the meaning behind words. The same words spoken orally in different tones can mean different things. Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt when interpreting written communication. 2. Offensive communications are NEVER acceptable. Observe the same courtesy that you would if you were face to face with the other person. 3. Respect the time of others. Be concise in your messages. No one has time to read books and discussions should be back and forth interchanges, not lectures. The posting to the original DQ should be about 150-200 words and responses to other students should be long enough to say what you need to say beyond “I agree” or “good post”. 4. No flaming (insults, etc.). Some of the topics we discuss are controversial or you may not agree with the views of another, which is fine, but you must respect the rights of others to hold their views. I welcome and encourage academic debate. Academic debate is based on factual knowledge and research (not opinion or what you think). I do NOT encourage or tolerate arguments or insults as part of the discussion. Swearing is not acceptable in academic communication. 5. Do not type in capital letters. This is considered to be shouting on the net and is considered rude behavior. You should use either Times New Roman or Arial size 12 font. Do not use bold or italics. Treat your postings as you would professional communication. 6. The discussion forums in the main forum are monitored discussions. Think before you speak (type). You may, at the instructor’s discretion, be given a grade of -0- for any communication which is deemed inappropriate. Should your postings during a thread disrupt the class, you will be given a grade of -0- for the entire discussion. Your classmates do not want to hear you ranting in the middle of their discussion of the topic. If you have personal comments, keep them in the chat forum. 7. Should you be warned by your instructor that your communication is inappropriate and continue the discourse a code of conduct violation will be filed with the University and you WILL get a grade of -0- for that entire
DQ/participation week. 8. Do NOT respond to inappropriate comments made by a classmate…ignore them. Dealing with these issues is the instructor’s job These will be dealt with privately between the instructor and student involved, so although you will not see an instructor response in a public forum, please know that they are not tolerated and will be dealt with. Thanks 🙂
Plagiarism and Non-Original Work
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any form. If you are unsure what plagiarism includes, please refer to the University’s policy located in the Center for Writing Excellence. In addition, as college students, you are encouraged to form your own opinions and arguments. To that end, no more than 15% percent of your work shall be quoted directly or closely paraphrased from outside sources. Answers to the most common issues are found by clicking on the “Help” icon, found at the top of the student website.