“Google Docs Debate” – President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

Deadline for Post – Tuesday February 5,  11:59 PM – 50 point assignment.

We will DEBATE President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address.  Go here for a copy of the text to the Second Inaugural.

I will also have shared this post with you.  If you did not get an email with the shared Inaugural Address contact me at bobwoodmsu@gmail.com and I will take care of that.

Your requirements for this Google Docs Debate: 

You must make two long posts – (label them LP)...

This means that you must bring an unique idea of your own to the text and post it, highlight a portion of the actual speech.  Try to keep your highlighting to no more than a paragraph…that is fine if it merely starts the place that you refer to in your post.  Your comments need not take any assigned direction, other than they need to make sense and state a position as to how you feel in regards to the particular part of the Address.  You don’t have to necessarily agree with President Obama or contest him; you may use the quote as a platform to raise like minded issues.  Your post must have some connection to the speech however.  These two long posts should shoot for 100 to 150 words.  Think before you post – write it up in Word. Check the grammar and spelling.  You will be held accountable for each.  Then handle any comments or questions or challenges that thread off of your post.  There is no word limit for your threaded answers; be thoughtful and thorough.  In order for you to fulfill this part of the requirement you must carry any thread off of your post to a conclusion.  Which means stay in touch with the thread.

Special Note: when dealing with politics in this country we have tended to yap instead of listen, yell instead of talk, and talk instead of think.  I don’t want any loud angry rants on these posts.  Your ideas are yours – and you are encouraged to take them in any direction you choose.  However I expect you to respect others opinions and to be intelligent.  I’m tired of a country in which its citizenry is loud, arrogant, and stupid.  Be reflective, measured, and thorough.  This is not Facebook and it is not Twitter – it is an academic exercise. In Google Docs Debate online discussion with others concentrate on making your case through thoughtful discourse and depth of your position. 

You must make two short posts (label them SP)…

This means that you must make two short posts off of another’s long post – this can be a question or a comment.  You can agree or disagree with the said post.  However as in the long post you must take this conversation to a conclusion.  If the thread opens up and people begin to comment to you – continue with it until the exam deadline or the thread has concluded on its own.  That means you may need to go back and check it after you think that the post was completed.  No word limit on the short posts.  Please check your grammar and spelling.   One more thing here…your two separate short posts need to come on a different thread.  Don’t make the mistake of counting your answer in a thread discussion as qualifying for a second short post in one that you already counted.

Two short.  Two long.  

Questions?  In the midst of a thread it can get confusing. How does somebody know I’m talking to them?  Identify them at the beginning of your thread post.  So start your post with the name of the individual who you are addressing.  You need not type your name on the post as it comes through on the google docs posting that is shared by us all.

Questions?  Can I answer somebody’s long post with a long post of my own?  In a way you can.  Begin a separate post and identify who you are talking to and what you are talking about.  Too difficult for me to ascertain a long from a short if its embedded in a thread.  I would suggest that you type it up in Word…check the spelling.  Check the argument before you post.  Often when we are in the midst of an online discussion we confuse any comment with an adequate comment.  And then you look back at your post a half hour later and wonder, “what on earth was I thinking.”  Make sure any long post is well thought out.  Short is conversation…keep it moving.   However, always think your position through before you start yapping.

Question?  How will my grade be figured?   Your grade will consist of how well you fulfill the requirements of two short and two long posts.  Are your thoughts founded?  Do you fulfill the long post word limit?  Does your line of reasoning make sense?  Do you carry each of the four posts to a legitimate conclusion?  Do you reflect (especially on the long posts) an intelligent well-thought out position.

Question?  What if Mr. Wood disagrees with my position?  Who cares?  Mr. Wood will be posting as well.  In fact he might post and ask you to clarify yourself.  However, your position will have no baring on your post grade.  The depth and clarity of your position will define your grade.  And the fact that you fulfilled stated requirements.

Question?  When will I know my grade on the Google Docs post?  Mr. Wood will post grades on  – the Google Docs post within 48 hours of the close of the Google Docs discussion.

Questions?  Is this something that I can expect to see in the future?  Absolutely.  College classes are doing more and more online discussions.  Many college classes today are hybrid in nature – which means they have classes in person and online assignments, such as this.  Your depth of knowledge of the issue – stemming from that active reading of the article – should provide you a solid platform for some thoughtful discussion.

Get organized.  Bring some sensibility and depth to the web.  And lets have an intelligent discussion. 

Good luck.  Make sure to ask any questions and meet your deadlines.

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