GEOG 438W
Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Constructive Peer-to-Peer Participation

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Fostering peer-to-peer learning opportunities in our ESP courses is essential to the work of ESP programs. Please visit the Constructive Participation in ESP Peer-to-Peer Activities page and then read the following expectations for how students will conduct themselves in these peer-to-peer learning opportunities for this course.

All Course Communications:

Please use appropriate behavior when interacting with others across all media in this course.

  • Use professional language. Avoid slang and text acronyms. International students in particular can find them difficult to understand.
  • Always address people by their name in email communications, and if they have a preferred name that they use, e.g., “Jeff” instead of “Jeffrey,” use that when sending a message. (This means please don't send me a message that starts with, "Hey Prof...")
  • AVOID USING ALL CAPS; IT'S EQUIVALENT TO SHOUTING (and it's hard to read).
  • When in an assigned discussion forum for a lesson, stay on topic. If you’ve got something else related to the topic you’d like to discuss, post it to the "Ask a Question About Lesson ___" forum and we'll see what we can do!
  • Support your position with credible sources and data, and make sure you are conveying your information in a way which is informative, constructive, and cordial.
  • If you believe another student has shared something which is factually inaccurate, and you can challenge their position with credible sources and in a cordial manner, that's great! However, please keep in mind this is different than assessing any of your classmates’ ability to respond correctly to discussion prompts and that is something the instructor will handle privately with each student.
  • Debate is fine, and even encouraged! Just make sure you're doing so in a way which focuses on the science, facts, and issues.  As with any sensitive policy issue, it is important to avoid even the appearance of personal attacks.  For example, a poorly worded note or posting can be easily misunderstood or misconstrued. Remember, recipients can't see your body language or the expression on your face, nor can they hear the intonation in your voice. If you suspect that something you've written might be taken the wrong way, it probably will. If you’re not certain, write your response in a Word document and allow it to sit for an hour or two. Sometimes rereading after a bit of time has lapsed will help you to see how others might interpret your tone.
  • Proofread your work! E-mail and discussion posts are written communications and should contain correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Your classmates come from all over the country and the world. Remember that language, humor, and idioms are not universal. Be especially careful with sarcasm and idiomatic expressions that may make little sense to those whose first language is not English.
  • Above all else: be courteous and respectful. This means no name calling, putting people or their ideas down, or using vulgar or inappropriate language. Instead, let’s take this opportunity to learn from each other as a cohesive group!

I look forward to our positive interactions on these topics going forward this semester!