Discussion Leader Assignment

Updated 8/27 9/3– see below

This semester, you and one or two other students will lead discussion on the blog for one or two weeks (depending on the bundle of assignments you choose for your grade). 

As a discussion leader, your goals for the discussion are:

  • to identify key issues or themes in the weekly readings/websites/videos
  • to bring your peers in section to a deeper understanding of some of the materials assigned for the week

Each discussion leader will post at two-three substantive questions for the class to discuss on the blog and post follow-up comments to some of the comments on their questions.

You will write 2 or 3 separate Posts to the Private course blog: 1 post per question/issue! (added 9/3)

Use my posts as a model.


  • Each of the 2-3 posts/questions should have a specific theme or issue
  • Introduce the question by presenting one or two important points in the readings as background/introduction to the question. Refer to specific themes and sections/passages in the weekly materials. Cite them (again, see my posts as a model).
  • Each post can focus on one item in the materials or a specific theme/issue across more than one reading/website/video
  • In each post, present a stimulating question for the class to discuss; these questions should lead students to a deeper understanding of one or more of the texts assigned for that day. 
  • Because this is a blog/writing for the web, please provide media (image, video, audio, etc.) to illustrate or illuminate; link to source(s).
  • You are welcome to incorporate a current event, a video clip, a website, or anything else that you think will enhance the class. 
  • Written in clear English free from errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or style that detract from the reader’s understanding.
  • The two discussion leaders do not need to have a fully orchestrated set of posts, but they should check in with each other so their questions don’t repeat. Do the readings early, sketch out a few ideas, then email/chat/phone/etc.
  • Collectively the posts/questions for the day do not have to cover every single item and issue in the weekly readings/videos/websites, but they should not duplicate questions
  • Each person should cover more than one of the weekly readings/videos/websites. (So, you can’t have all your own individual posts about the same article — unless there’s only one article assigned.)
  • Please follow general practices for blogging/writing for the web:
    • Clear writing
    • Informative title (not “Discussion q 1”, etc.)
    • Categories for the WEEK and the UNIT
    • Tags

The discussion leader assignment will be evaluated using this rubric. NOTE: Rubric revised 8/27 because I forgot a criterion. Thanks for your understanding!

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