Week 1 – Discussion
Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday). Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
|Topic Selection [WLOs: 2] [CLOs: 1, 3]|
This first discussion of this course is an important one, as you will choose a topic category that interests you from the list below. Within this category, you will begin to focus on a more narrowly defined and refined topic, which will serve throughout the remainder of the course as the basis for weekly article review assignments and the Analysis Review Final Paper.
Before you begin work on this discussion, review the Weeks 2 through 5 Article Review assignments and the Week 6 Analysis Review assignment to give you an idea of the sort of work you want to do with your selected topic. If you would like to choose a topic other than the ones listed, request approval for your topic from the instructor.
Approved topic categories are the following:
|Admissions/Recruitment/Enrollment||Access to College|
|College Affordability & Cost||Open Education|
|Federal Budget/Appropriations||Student Retention|
|For-Profit Higher Education||Student Evaluation/Testing/SAT/ACT|
|Free College Tuition||Student Loan Default Rates|
|Gainful Employment||Veteran Affairs|
|Graduation Rates/Degree Completion||Women in Higher Education|
In your initial post,
- Specify which topic category you have chosen for your Article Review and Analysis Review assignments. For example, “I have chosen Free College Tuition as my topic category.”
- Define a narrower and more specific topic that you plan to use as the basis of your Article Review and Analysis Review assignments. To support this activity, consult the Ashford Writing Center’s Developing a Topic (Links to an external site.) resource and/or the Ashford University Library’s The Research Process (Links to an external site.)
- Describe at least two issues or possible research topics relating to your topic that you can explore in depth in these subsequent assignments.
- Discuss why your selected topic is of interest to you. What connection does it have to your current or future professional career?
Guided Response: Respond to one peer who has chosen the same topic category as yours or a topic similar to yours, and to two peers who have chosen topics different from your own. Compare and contrast your respective intellectual and professional interests and offer constructive criticism and recommendations concerning the problems and issues identified, indicating possible paths to finding answers and solutions.
Provide your initial response by Day 3 (Thursday) and respond by Day 5 (Saturday) to at least three of your classmates and respond by Day 7 to classmates (and/or the instructor if applicable) who replied to your initial post. Note that although three replies are the basic expectation, you are encouraged to post as many times as you like to any and all threads you find to be of interest. This will further the conversation while also giving you opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic.