Forum 1: Imagine the world without people
This class will focus on how humans interact with the environment. We will study how human actions are effecting the world around us, and the consequences of our actions. We will also focus on what you can do to help. A lot of the issues the environment faces are human caused, and it might seem like there is no hope, but that isn’t true…we can all do things in our everyday life to help.
This first discussion board forum will focus on an article from the New Scientist by Bob Holmes, titled ‘Imagine earth without people’. It is a very interesting exercise to see how much we humans impact the world around us and to see how the world could respond to all these changes if we were gone. We will cover many of the topics discussed in this article during the quarter. A copy of the article is located here:
http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/66241:imagine-earth-without-people (Links to an external site.)
After reading the article, focus your post on the following questions:
- What are your thoughts on the article with respect to how humans effect the environment?
- Do you think there is more reason preserve the natural world, or is there less need to do so? (i.e., things will return to normal when we are gone)
- What was the most surprising thing you read in this article?
- Can you think of any other ways we negatively influence the environment that were not mentioned in the article?
Your post should follow the guidelines in the DB Orientation page, and make sure you cite the sources of your information!
Please look at the attached for the post guidelines!
Please complete in the timeline given! It is only 400 words, remember.
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UNFORMATTED ATTACHMENT PREVIEW
Discussion Question Forums There will be a new forum every week with questions posted related to that week’s chapter material or an assigned reading. You are required to have one ‘quality post’ (defined below) a week but you are welcome to participate more. Please give others a chance to participate and don’t dominate the forums. You are also required to read all the posted information in these forums. You must read all available postings prior to posting your own. Each week’s forum (‘Week 1 Discussion Forum’, for example) will have 1-2 ‘threads’ in which I will pose a question. Please respond to one of these threaded questions directly or to a peer’s response. Criteria for a Quality Posting (see examples at the end) Generally, I am looking to see that you have read, understood and thought deeply about the course material and the assigned readings. You need to demonstrate this through a thoughtful, well written paragraph(s). A critical aspect of the discussion posts is to present your opinions on the topic, BUT I do not want unsupported opinions, they must be backed up by facts, data, or research you might find in your textbook or on web sites (note: be careful when using web sites, some are not as reliable as others think about where the information is coming from). It is very important that you cite facts, figures and/or concepts from the text or other reliable sources to support your ideas. Please use proper MLA citations. It is extremely important that the discussion board is a ‘class conversation’ not just a homework assignment that everyone works on separately then just submits to the board. Good conversations are not simply two people yelling at each other, they are the rare mixture of listening, thinking and thoughtful response. I highly encourage you to respond to your peers as well as the main the question. In fact, when assessing your posts I will use this as an important criterion. You can reply directly to a peer’s posting (either supporting or civilly and scientifically offering an alternate view point). You MUST read all your peer’s postings prior to posting your own material. I don’t want a repeat of another’s post put into your own words. I want new and original ideas and sources of material. You must strive to add something new to the conversation. If you lack all originality then I suggest you post very early in the week. Be sure to state the hypothesis or focus of your post within the first 2 or 3 sentences. Your readers should know from the very beginning exactly what you are going to discuss. You will then support your hypothesis with research in the body of the post. Finally make conclusions based on your research. Avoid the “conversational post” in which multiple ideas are discussed without a cohesive hypothesis being presented or a conclusion being made. Do not copy large chunks of text from your sources to support your arguments. You will use outside sources (internet web sites or textbooks) to support your hypothesis, however it is your job to summarize and present the arguments in your own words then reference the source properly. You may want to directly quote a sentence or two but more than that is unacceptable. The point of these Discussion Boards is to develop your critical thinking and writing skills. Make sure your internet sources are reliable. There is obviously a lot of information available on the internet, so how do you know which ones to trust? Here are a couple of guidelines. You can generally trust information found on University web sites, government sponsored web sites (CDC or NIH), most large city newspaper sites, and some none profit sites such as PBS.org. The material presented on these sites must be reviewed by editors or peers before being posted on the internet. However recognize that any site you go to will have some bias and it is your job to find out what the opposing sides would argue. AVOID Blogs and Discussions on the internet. These online discussions might bring up some interesting points but they are generally not peer reviewed and therefore the information can be unreliable. DO NOT directly reference or quote material from these types of sources. Change your subject heading to reflect the content of the message. Your subject heading should be original and should compel others to read your posting as well as reflect the content of the posting. Subject headings are important and really help everyone seethe discussion board as a conversation. Be professional or clever or funny or witty, or business-like but don’t be dull or stupid. I don’t require students to post multiple days per week or log on every day but I do expect very high quality and thought provoking postings. I highly suggest using a Word program to spell and grammar check your work before submitting your post. Treat this as an English 205 very short essay. Use proper English grammar and avoid emoticons of all type and excessive punctuation. Let the power of your plain prose get the message across. Postings are not the place to make assertions about your personal belief system. Scientists must be open to all ideas and skeptical of all of them as well. I want you to practice thinking and writing from a scientific perspective whenever possible. This means you must remain objective and non-judgmental. Feel free to post and support viewpoints that you don’t personally share. Always read other posts with an open mind and let new ideas roam around in your brain. Guidelines Used to Assess your Postings: Your postings are supported by factual information from the textbook or other assigned readings. You cite examples, statistics and information to support your ideas and comments. You have posted a 400 – 800 word response to a question or a peer’s response at least one time each week. Your postings are well written, lacking spelling and grammatical errors. You should use college level English. Each posting is directly relevant to the question and/or to the response of another peer. You are objective and open-minded in your posting. You are respectful of your peer’s views and opinions while still being rigorous. You attempted to give a new/alternate perspective.
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