The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.
At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.
The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.
For this Discussion Board, you will write a dialogue between yourself and an imaginary Socrates. You will debate the question of free will versus determinism. Remember that the Socratic Method involves asking a series of questions to clarify key words and ideas. In your dialogue, the imaginary Socrates should be asking clarifying questions, and you will be answering them. Please refer to the excerpt from Plato’s Meno as an example (below) to model your dialogue. This post should be 3–4 paragraphs.
Your post should be a dialogue, which addresses the following questions, using the Socratic Method:
- What is the definition of determinism?
- What is the definition of free will?
- Do you agree that every event has an explanatory cause?
- How do you define event?
- How do you define explanatory cause?
- Do you agree that every human choice or event has an explanatory cause?
- How do you define human choice? How do you define human event? Are they different?
- Do you agree that to have an explanatory cause is to not be free?
- How do you define free?
- Do you think that free will and determinism can coexist in any way?
- Is it possible to have external determinism and internal free will?
To have cohesion and reach solid conclusions, your imaginary Socrates will probably ask you more questions than the ones listed above. Be sure to include all of the above ideas in your dialogue.
Review Checklist before submitting post:
Your dialogue should also include all of the following:
- Use the Socratic Method to form all conclusions (this will be achieved by the question and answer dialogue between you and the imaginary Socrates).
- Clear and concise language, using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- Correct definitions of free will and determinism
- Logical explanations and valid reasoning for each conclusion
- Clear answers to each question with a definite stance or position
- You must reach a conclusive answer to each question
- Click here to read and excerpt from Plato’s Meno (Soccio, 1995).