Discussion Board (DB) Participation Rubric
Discussion boards (DBs) are what make an online course a course and not
an independent study. DBs are vital to demonstrating that the learner
has met the expected course level outcomes. Collaboration between peers
and your instructor in the DB is an important aspect of the online
learning experience and is expected in the course. Any exceptions to
the following DB rubric will be at the instructor’s discretion.
The purpose of a DB is to stimulate critical thinking in a scholarly
manner. Critical thinking consists of synthesis, creating solutions,
application to real world situations, and testing, debating, and
defending evidence-based solutions. Critical thinking is not repetition
of assigned reading material. Outside research of the literature is a
vital part of the DB. Posts need to be substantive. This means that
responses such as “I agree” or “great post” do not meet grading rubric
Initial posts for each discussion question (DQ) is due no later than
Saturday of the unit week. The initial post must be an answer to the
DQ topic, not a comment on other posts. Initial posts for each DB must
also include a minimum of three peer-reviewed citations. Citations must
include outside sources and no more than one citation from assigned
course readings may be used each week. Additionally, comments should
also include a citation to support assertions. While the eCollege
discussion board tool limits the ability to use APA formatting (e.g.,
hanging indents), posts must include the required elements of an APA
in-text citation and list of references.
Initial post timeliness
Provides an initial post on or after Sunday.
Provides an initial post by Saturday.
Additional comment requirement
Does not post responses to others.
Posts one comment per Discussion topic.
Posts 2 comments per Discussion topic on separate days. At least one comment includes a citation.
more than 2 comments per Discussion topic on separate days (resulting
in total participation on three different days throughout the
discussion). At least two comments include a citation.
Participates, but does not post anything that encourages others to respond to the posting.
Attempts to motivate the group discussion.
Frequently attempts to motivate the group discussion.
Content Quality Initial Response
Submission does not relate to the topic.
Answers some question/topics with some clearly stated opinions. Supports post using text only.
all questions with opinions and ideas that are stated clearly. Supports
post using text and at least two peer-reviewed sources.
Answers all questions with opinions/ideas creatively and clearly. Supports post using several outside, peer-reviewed sources.
Major errors or no APA format used.
Minor errors with APA format.
Rare errors with APA format.
No errors with APA format.
Grammar/ Formatting/ Mechanics
Significant errors in spelling and/or grammar. Major flaws in writing mechanics and formatting.
Poor spelling and grammar are apparent.
Uses Standard American English with rare errors and misspellings.
Consistently uses Standard American English with no misspellings. Appropriate mechanics and formatting.
Submission does not meet length requirements.
The initial post is at least 200 words. This does not include repeating the DB question or the citations and references.
Total available points =
Instructions: First enter total points possible in cell C15,
under the rubric. Next enter scores (between 0 and 4) into yellow cells
only in column F.
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