Instructions for Discussion Board PostsDiscussion Board (DB) Group WorkPlease click on Modules tab to access the assigned discussion board (DB) for a particular Module then click on DB tab. Initial PostYour initial post for each Discussion Board assignment (this does not include the Introduction Discussion Board) is due no later than 11:59 pm on the final Friday before the deadline for the assignment [which is generally on the final Sunday at 11:59 pm (occasionally it may be on another day)], allowing time for actual discussion of the posts between group members. Composing and Saving Your PostCompose your post using Microsoft Word on your computer. Other word processors can be used as long as it is possible for you to save your file in Word format, as a .doc or .docx file. Check your post using Grammarly, or otherwise proof read and edit your post to eliminate errors. Copy and paste your checked post into the forum, and attach your Word file to the post before saving. Your copied and pasted post will be used by your group members for reading and commenting on. The file you attach will be used by your Mentor for grading purposes. Your Word file should be properly formatted per APA standard. Some of the formatting will be lost when you copy and paste into the Canvas DB forum. Therefore, it is important that you supply your Mentor with a formatted Word version of your post.Post Length.You are given a number of required readings/PowerPoints for each discussion board assignment. In order to discuss the relevant points raised by these assignments, critique them, and present your own position, using references from the readings/PowerPoints. We are looking for theequivalentof a minimum of one and a half pages to a maximum of three pages using Times New Roman 12 point, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, not including the reference section. Anything less than that really doesn’t allow you to discuss the topic in sufficient detail. However, do not be surprised if you end up needing the full three pages, but please do not pad your posts. For example, never refer to article titles, journal titles, author first names and initials, author qualifications such as PhD or MD, when citing sources. Stick to the APA style for citations, which in their basic form consist of author(s) last name(s), publication date, and a page number if you have used a direct quote (avoid direct quotes – see below). Make sure you present your critiques and arguments using the class resources as well as any that you may obtain in addition. Review the grading grid that we use (see below under ‘Grading Criteria’) and make sure you have a clear idea of what is expected. If you have any questions about this, please e-mail your particular Course Mentor. As alluded to above, you are expected to cite the various readings. This is one thing that the Mentor grading your Discussion Board posts will be looking for, and for the information you are using from the readings in your critiques, or in the support of your own position. Because this is a Masters level course, we’re looking for the appropriate, graduate academic standard of writing. Post ContentYour post must address the Discussion Board assignment question or prompt. We are not looking for a simple laundry list of points made by the authors of the written material you are assigned to read. Look for the main arguments and provide a critical analysis of the data they provide for their position, as you discuss the question set for the assignment. To this add your own position and the relevant data/facts, citing the sources of your evidence. Avoid direct quotes. Paraphrasing and summarizing are the preferred approaches. For a piece of writing of this length, one brief direct quote, the equivalent of one and a half lines (or, say, 15 or 16 words), is the absolute maximum acceptable. Over-use of direct quotes in your posts will be penalized – over-use is defined as more than one brief direct quote as just described.Required ReadingsTo access the readings/PowerPoints that you need to read for each of the Discussion Board assignments, click on the links to the actual readings required, usually found below the Module podcast. Please note that for each Discussion Board your post must include discussion ofideas from all readings required for that assignment. Often you will be citing these articles to support your argument, analyzing the content of the article, or disagreeing with what the authors say. Reference to these articles in your post gives some indication that you have studied this required material, and the depth to which you have studied thatrequiredreading material. Failure to refer to all therequired readingsin your post historically has been one of the principal causes of students losing points in their Discussion Board work. So please take this expectation seriously and use it right from the first Discussion Board assignment. Make sure you are reading and commenting on the readings that arerequired readingsfor the particular Discussion Board assignment. You are also required to include an APA formatted reference section at the end of your post, just as you would for a paper you have written. Do not, under any circumstances, copy references from another student’s post. Work out your own reference list. Do not use apps or features of word processing programs that allegedly help the user create a reference list. These invariably create errors and so teach you the wrong way to write references. Some of them also introduce formatting into the document that creates problems for the grader. You will receive more penalties or consequences for using reference list apps, or for copying another student’s reference list (which constitutes plagiarism), than you will for making honest errors of your own.The ‘Right’ AnswerThere is no ‘correct’ position for you to take that we are looking for. You may agree or disagree with each other, or with the authors of the required readings. What we are looking for is an informed and well-argued position using your readings as references. When you are graded on your Discussion Board contribution, the stance you take is not the focus, but the way you analyze the readings, present your arguments, and validate your position is what is being examined. The required reading materials have been chosen carefully so that you will be exposed to a range of viewpoints, many of which you will not have encountered previously, but which are extremely important to consider in relation to the course. We expect a range of responses from the students. What we are looking for is evidence that you have thought about the viewpoints, ideas, and research findings presented in the required readings.CommentsA minimum of one comment on another student’s post in your group area is required. At least one of your comments must be made by no later than midnight on the Saturday before the final assignment deadline [which is generally on the final Sunday at 11:59 pm (occasionally it may be on another day)]. There are penalties for late comments as follows: if your first comment is on Sunday, the maximum score for your comment will be 0.5 (maximum possible for assignment is then 9.5, if your post was on time); if your first comment is after Sunday, the maximum score for your comment will be 0 (maximum possible for assignment is then 9, if your post was on time).There should be academic discussion in this Master’s level course. When commenting on a classmate’s post, continue to be analytical. If they make a good point with which you agree, explain why you agree, maybe giving another example or further evidence that supports their position. If you disagree, explain why, and again provide references for your argument. “Great post!” is not a thoughtful response. Comments should be a minimum of half a page, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point, with one-inch margins, in length. Deductions will be made for comments that are too brief (-0.1 if comment is marginally too brief, -0.25 for comments that are a little too brief, and -0.50 for really short comments, regardless of content). If you write two or several comments then their lengths will be combined to check against the minimum requirement. Multiple comments are preferred because they enhance the discussion. DeadlinesThe deadlines for the Discussion Board submissions are all in EST/EDT, so remember to check the time zone difference if you live outside EST/EDT. Each Discussion Board has a deadline date and time by which all necessary posts must be made. Please e-mail your Group Mentor immediately if you perceive some problem with or obstacle to your participation in the DBs.PenaltiesThere are penalties if the above deadlines are not met. Please note that posts made after the Friday will receive 75% of the assessed grade, posts made after the Saturday will receive only 50% of the assessed grade. As stated above, comments made after Sunday 11:59 will receive 0, as if no comment was made at all. Therefore, all posts and comments MUST be up prior to Sunday. Grading CriteriaThe grading criteria for the DB assignments can be found below. Briefly, out of 10 possible points, up to 2 are awarded for reference to the assigned readings for the topic and correct citation according to the APA Publication Manual (6thedition); up to 3 points are awarded for your critical analysis of ideas presented in therequiredreadings, and up to another 3 points for your ability to synthesize these ideas in the presentation of your own argument – clearly, if you are not referencing the required number of sources then some deductions may also appear under these two criteria; finally, up to 2 points are given for correct grammar, syntax, sentence construction, and general coherence. There are two further modifiers that impact your grade. Up to 1 point will be deducted for failure to comment on other group members’ posts or for an inadequate comment. Up to 50% of the assessed grade for your post will be deducted if your post is late, as outlined above. References & Readings (2) Critical analysis of ideas (3) Synthesis of information (3) Grammar, Syntax, Sentence construction. Overall Coherence (2) Comments on at least one group member (-1 if none) Total APA FormattingDiscussion Board posts are expected to conform to APA formatting. This includes proper in-text citations and a reference section at the end of your post. For guidelines on the formatting of citations and reference listings, refer to your APA Publication Manual, or to useful online resources such as the APA section of the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab.Feedback.It is vital that you read and take on board the feedback provided for each of your Topic Area discussion board posts. Once your grade is uploaded for a particular Discussion Board assignment, you will be able to go into the Grade Center and download your feedback. By carefully following the instructions and guidelines, and by adjusting your approach in response to feedback given, you will very quickly reach the required standard of work for this course component and will benefit accordingly from correspondingly good grades. Grades will reflect the quality of work you have been submitting in relation to the instructions, guidelines, and feedback. If you have any questions, please e-mail your group mentor using the e-mail address provided.