This week’s Forum requires you to answer the question completely and correctly to receive full credit. 

There are so many things around us that it can be difficult to focus on just one for a research project. Here are a few things to think about to find yours. First, we are in a sociology class, so your topic has to be sociological in nature. Wondering if a new diet helps people lose weight, for instance, wouldn’t work. Instead, think back on some of the topics you covered in other sociology classes (Intro, Marriage and the Family, Theory, etc.). Was there something in there that sparked your interest? You can also build on previous research that you have completed for a former class in the program or closely related field.

Second, this project will be the focus of your discussions for the next eight weeks.  It is highly recommended that you choose something that is of interest to you and can keep your attention for that long.

The point of the discussion is that other students will ask you questions or make suggestions that may help you define your project better. Your instructor will also interact with each of you individually in this module and the next to help you refine your topic. Which means, remember to check your thread regularly!

As you present your topic in this discussion, think about how you would study it.  What is your research question and your theory behind it?  What variables can you use to measure correlations that are connected to your research question?  In your original post, tell the class what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question. Your research question should preferably be more general and open-ended than a hypothesis. Then, identify variables which you have found in the GSS dataset (be sure to identify the variable name AND the question asked in the survey).  Explain why you chose these variables for your project and why you think there is a correlation or a relationship. 

In your replies to at least two posts from your classmates, think critically about what they are trying to do with their project, and offer them constructive feedback. This can be asking for clarification about their proposed topic; suggesting a direction for their research; suggesting sources they may want to check; or contributing your personal experience about this topic.

You can find the GSS variables in the codebook found at the back of your textbook.  We will be using the 2012 data set for our project,  If you would like to see the actual GSS website, you may visit it by clicking here.  ( http://gss.norc.org/get-the-data )

 

Instructions for all Forums:

Sociology lives when we engage it – we read about it, we discuss it, we debate it, we frame our research questions with it, we put it to the test of empiricism, and every once in a while we build it ourselves.  Therefore, the success of this course depends on all of us thoroughly engaging it.  One of the most important parts of the course will be the discussions and debates we participate in, in our Forum.  These discussions need to be informed by thorough reading of the assigned texts. 

Each week, learners will post one initial post per week.  This post must demonstrate comprehension of the course materials, the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world, active presence.  Learners will engage with the instructor and peers through rich responses to their posts.  To motivate engaged discussion, posts are expected to be on time with regular interaction throughout the week.  All posts should demonstrate college level writing skills. To promote vibrant discussion as we would in a face to face classroom, formatted citations and references are not required.  Quotes should not be used at all, or used sparingly.  If you quote a source quotation marks should be used and an APA formatted citation and reference provided.

 

 

 

Points

 

Exemplary (100%)

 

 

Accomplished (85%)

 

 

Developing (75%)

 

Beginning (65%)

 

Not Participating (0%)

 

Comprehension of course materials

 

4

Initial post demonstrates rich comprehension of course materials.  Detailed use of terminology or examples learned in class.  If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

Initial post demonstrates clear comprehension of course materials.  Use of terminology or examples learned in class. If post includes opinion, it is supported with evaluated evidence.

Initial post does not clearly demonstrate comprehension of course materials.  Specific terminology or examples learned in class may be incorrect or incomplete.  Post may include some opinion without evaluated evidence.

Initial post does not demonstrate comprehension of course materials.  Specific terminology or examples learned in class are not included.  Post is opinion based without evaluated evidence.

No posting, post is off topic, post does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of comprehension. Post may be plagiarized, or use a high percentage of quotes that prevent demonstration of student’s comprehension.

Real world application of knowledge

 

2

Initial post demonstrates that the learner can creatively and uniquely apply the concepts and examples learned in class to a personal or professional experience from their life.

Initial post demonstrates that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class to a current event.

Initial post does not clearly demonstrate that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class. Unclear link between the concepts and examples learned in class to personal or professional experience or to a current event.

Initial does not demonstrate that the learner can apply the concepts and examples learned in class. No link to a personal or professional experience or to a current event is made in the post.

No posting, post is off topic, post does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of application. Post may be plagiarized, or use a high percentage of quotes that prevent demonstration of student’s ability to apply comprehension.

Active Forum Engagement

 2

Posts one or more responses to a classmate or instructor replies to the learner’s initial post. 

 

Posts two or more 100+ word responses to initial posts of classmates.  Posts motivate group discussion and contributes to the learning community by doing 2+ of the following:

 

·  offering advice or strategy

·  posing a question,

·  providing an alternative point-of-view,

·  acknowledging similar experiences

·  sharing a resource

Posts two 100+ word responses to initial posts of classmates.  Posts motivate group discussion and contribute to the learning community by doing  2+ of the following:

 

·  offering advice or strategy

·  posing a question,

·  providing an alternative point-of-view,

·  acknowledging similar experiences

·  sharing a resource

Posts one 100+ word response to initial post of classmate.  Post motivates group discussion and contributes to the learning community by doing 1 of the following:

 

·  offering advice or strategy

·  posing a question,

·  providing an alternative point-of-view,

·  acknowledging similar experiences

·  sharing a resource

Posts one 100+ word response to initial post of classmate.  Post does not clearly motivate group discussion or clearly contribute to the learning community.

 

Responses do not:

·  offering advice or strategy

·  posing a question,

·  providing an alternative point-of-view,

·  acknowledging similar experiences

·  sharing a resource

No peer responses are made.  One or more peer responses of low quality (“good job, I agree”) may be made.

Active Forum Presence

1

Learner posts 4+ different days in the learning week.

 

Initial post is made by Thursday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

 

Response posts are made by Sunday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

Learner posts 3 different days in the learning week.

 

Initial post is made by Friday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

 

Response posts are made by Sunday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

Learner posts 2 different days in the learning week. 

 

Initial post is made by Saturday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

 

Response posts are made by Sunday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

Learner posts 1 day in the learning week. 

 

Initial post is made by Sunday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

 

Response posts are made by Sunday 11:55pm ET of the learning week.

Posts are not made during the learning week and therefore do not contribute to or enrich the weekly conversation.

Writing skills

 1

Post is 250+ words.  All posts reflect widely accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters (“I am” not “i am”), cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue is also polite and respectful of different points of view.

Post is 250+ words.  The majority of posts reflect widely-accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters (“I am” not “i am”), cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue is polite and respectful of different points of view.

Post is 150+ words.  The majority of posts reflect widely-accepted academic writing protocols like using capital letters (“I am” not “i am”), cohesive sentences, and no texting language. Dialogue may not be respectful of different points of view.

Post is 100+ words.  The majority of the forum communication ignores widely-accepted academic writing protocols like capital letters (“I am” not “i am”), cohesive sentences, and texting; Dialogue may not be respectful of different points of view.

No posting, post is off topic and does not meet minimum criteria for demonstrating beginning level of comprehension.

 

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