DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG
ONBOARD AND ONLINE—WEEK FOUR: FEBRUARY 3 to FEBRUARY 9
My total focus is working to prepare the trainees for the upcoming midterm exam assignment. It is an argumentation assignment in which the hypothetical audience is the Congress of the United States. I may have mentioned this in an earlier blog post. By the end of Week Two, everyone should have posted his/her proposed topic keeping in mind that the topic had to be a controversial one that Congress may consider.
Each trainee had to propose at least one topic; however, s/he could, also, post more. Then, I would review and approve or not approve every topic posted. The post was to be very short and follow the same format: For or Against?
No discussion about the topic by anyone was to be added. If I did not approve a topic, I provided a detailed reason. I encouraged every trainee to read my reasons for disapproval to help them understand and see how a "critical reader" may view posts. Any topic approved, not just the one posted, anyone could choose for the assignment.
Teaching Argumentation is a Requirement
|Bare Essentials Handbook|
* development of a thesis that states a position and reasons for that position
* development of support
* a respectful acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints
* a respectful refutation of those viewpoints
Having taught this discourse many times, I have asked my former trainees to critique my technique and the handbook used. They have given me very useful suggestions for improving my teaching and making the handbook even more effective in teaching this particular discourse. They have suggested my color-coding the format of presentation of the body paragraphs. This addition has been quite useful in helping my trainees understand the format I wanted and to insure they understand the reason for this format.