Discussion Grading Rubric
I am evaluating 3 elements in your discussion posts/replies: Critical Thought, Knowledge of philosophical theories and concepts, and grammar/spelling/length.
1. CRITICAL THOUGHT: What I mean by “critical thought” is the depth and consistency of your explanations. When you make a claim about something, do you explain why you believe that? Do you examine the assumptions that one must make to reach that conclusion? Should those assumptions be made? Is your position consistent with other claims you make? (This criterion is worth 3 of the 8 points for your post.)
For example, the second discussion board asks you to consider the possibility of someone who claims to have a device that destroys peoples’ souls. You are supposed to then discuss how you would go about evaluating such a claim. One student wrote, “I believe that we each have a soul and that it rises to Heaven when our physical bodies cease to exist.” She also writes about how ridiculous the person is who claims he has a device that destroys souls, because there is no way to evaluate his claim, and no reason to believe him. She seems completely unaware that HER OWN BELIEF is just as impossible to evaluate as his. Thus, if we can reject this man’s claim, she should reject hers. This shows me an inconsistent position that lacks depth. She never tries to explain WHY she believes what she believes, nor does she seem to recognize the obvious contradiction in her argument.
2. KNOWLEDGE OF PHILOSOPHICAL THEORIES AND CONCEPTS: For each discussion board, I indicate what sections of the text you should study BEFORE making your posting. In that section (and the preceding sections) are the concepts and theories that pertain to that discussion board. I am NOT asking you to fill your posting with philosophical jargon. If you read the text carefully, then your posting WILL reflect your knowledge of the relevant concepts. If you make a claim that reflects a particular position discussed in the text, you will naturally use language that reflects your new knowledge. On the other hand, if you give me an opinion that has several objections to it, that were explained in the text, but you seem unaware of these objections, that would show me a lack of knowledge of the theories and concepts. (This criterion is worth 3 of the 8 points for your post.)
3. GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND LENGTH: This is not an English course. However, I expect the grammar, spelling and tone of your discussions to be college level. This is not “Twitter.” Write in clear and complete sentences. Check your spelling (minor spelling mistakes are not a big deal, but obvious and repeated mistakes are big deals). Keep your tone professional and academic. Lastly, make sure you have the appropriate length. Posts should be 300 words (approximately) and your reply should be 100 words (approximately). I will not even check unless it is obviously too short, or well over the required length. Part of the assignment is learning how to give sufficient and efficient explanations. (This criterion is worth 2 of the 8 points for your post.)
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