dr c's remarkable ocean world

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Dr. Chamberlin's Fall 2003 Online Course Guidelines

This page last updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 7:22 PM

11. Participation Assignments

The first couple weeks of the semester are typically the most chaotic. If you feel dazed and confused, fear not: you are not alone.

One of the best ways to get rocking and rolling in an online course is to get to know your classmates. Such interactions are among the most important in a virtual classroom as they foster the development of a tight-knit learning community that can provide academic and even moral support (helping and encouraging each other is always welcome). Every single person in this world has something to teach you and you may be amazed what insights you can gain from others if you are willing to listen and share.

Participation Assignment #1- Who Are You, Matey?

Our first discussion assignment is designed to get us familiar with posting to the discussion board and to help us get to know each other. To complete it, follow these simple directions:

This assignment is due no later than 1155PM, Sunday, August 24, 2003. The time is determined at http://www.time.gov. Completion of all parts of this assignment earns you twenty (20) points. Partial assignments receive zero (0) points. Repeat: You should have a total of three (3) posts for this assignment.

Participation Assignment #2 - What's Your Learning Style?

This assignment is due no later than 1155PM, Sunday, August 31, 2003. The time is determined at http://www.time.gov. Completion of all parts of this assignment earns you ten twenty (20) points. Partial assignments receive zero (0) points. Repeat: You should have a total of three (3) posts for this assignment.

Participation Assignments #3-10

The bulk of our work in this course centers around studying the novel and its oceanography and responding to questions in the study guide. However, a good part of what we learn in college should relate to our academic goals and life-long passions. What's the point of being in college if it doesn't prepare us for our careers and life?

To that end, the remaining participation assignments involve a bit of role-playing, a bit of imagination and a bit of applying what you're learning. In these assignments, you will become of one of Nemo's crewmembers and serve aboard the Nautilus from start to finish. You will apply for the job, be hired and carry through with your duties just as if you were part of a real crew. You will also act as the supervisor for other crewmembers, checking their work and giving them "raises" accordingly.

For each question listed below, post your response in the appropriate topic of the discussion board. You may work ahead by composing your messages in a word-processing program but you may not post your answers more than two weeks ahead of time. You must write an original response and also respond to TWO of your classmates postings every week. That means you will post at least three times every week. Completion of all three postings each week earns you twenty (20) points. Partial postings (less than three) receive zero points.

DUE DATES FOR THESE ASSIGNMENTS ARE POSTED ON THE WEB SITE. Basically, you must complete one assignment per week (see Course Syllabus). No late assignments are accepted for any reason whatsoever.

Here's the participation questions for the entire semester:

Week 3: Work for Nemo! Write a 250-word minimum classified advertisement for an ocean-related career aboard the Nautilus that you would like to pursue. The scope here is broad: potential ocean-related careers could include a wide range of jobs, such as science teachers, marine biologists, military personnel, lifeguards, underwater tour guide, hairdresser, even a psychic who communicates with dolphins (which a former student pursued). Any type of job that might possibly be served aboard Nautilus is game (even if such crewmembers do not exist in the novel). You are only limited by your imagination AND your ability to relate this career to a study of oceanography. Included in your ad must be the official title of the position, the oceanographic and personal qualifications (use your learning styles and multiple intelligence information here), how this career relates to oceanography, the potential salary range and who to contact for an interview. Respond to two of your classmate's postings by commenting on the quality and thoroughness of their ad (is the position well-defined? is it clear what's required? does the job relate to oceanography?, etc.) Your response must be a minimum of 100 words for each classmate.

Week 4: Letter of Application! Respond to your ad or a classmate's ad with a formal business letter not less than 250 words. The first paragraph of your letter should state the three main topics of your letter (i.e. the three reasons you are qualified for the job, i.e. respond to the ad). The next three paragraphs should expand on your reasons. The final paragraph should summarize your reasons again, request an interview and state the salary range you would be willing to accept. Your letter must consist of five (5) paragraphs as outlined here. Anything more or less will be rejected. Use your imagination. For heaven's sake, you do not have to actually have the qualifications. Make them up! Please include a portion of the ad to which you are responding or at least indicate the person (if not you) whose ad you are answering. Respond to two of your classmate's ads as if you were one of Nemo's officers in charge of hiring. Is their letter well-written? Do they meet the qualifications of the job? Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? (If so, reject their application immediately. Real employers do!) Let the person know what you consider to be their strengths and weaknesses and whether or not you would hire them or at least interview them in at least 100 words for each classmate.

Week 5: You've Been Hired! Respond to your letter of application or to one of your classmate's letter of application by informing them that they have been hired in no less than 250 words. Write your response as if you were one of Nemo's officers who does the hiring. Let them know what is expected of them on the job in terms of knowledge of oceanography and professional conduct. Be as specific as possible. Include chapters of the study guide or novel that they should read. Let them know when they can start and their starting salary. Respond to two of your classmate's hiring letters as if you were Captain Nemo. Is the letter clear? Does it include specific examples of knowledge that the hire-ee must have? Is the salary too high for the job? Comment in no less than 100 words for each classmate.

Week 6: Prepare a Training Manual! Now that you've been hired, it's time to get to work. Unfortunately, you've discovered that the crewpersons assigned to you are poorly trained in oceanography. Prepare an outline of a training manual that includes all the specific knowledge areas in oceanography in which your workers should be prepared. Include in your outline specific textbook pages and THREE web sites that support their training. Be sure to include the URLs (addresses) of the web sites. Respond to two of your classmate's training manual outlines as if you were Captain Nemo. Is the outline logical and organized? Does it cover everything that the employees should know? Are the textbook pages the appropriate ones? Are the web sites satisfactory (you should go to the web sites and check them out briefly)? If you think their work is outstanding, give them a raise! If not, then encourage them to do better next time. Comment in no less than 100 words for each classmate.

Week 7: A Page from the Training Manual! Using the outline you prepared for your training manual, pick ONE specific topic and write no less than a 250-word essay describing that topic. For example, your employees (Coast Guard types) may need to know something about shark behavior to do their job. Shark behavior would be on of the topics in your training manual outline. So you would write a paragraph (or a couple paragraphs) on shark behavior. Be sure to include specific references to the textbook and any relevant web sites. Respond to two of your classmate's training manual paragraphs as if you were their crewperson being trained. Do the paragraphs make sense? Do they cover everything that the you need to know? Are the textbook pages the appropriate ones? Are the web sites satisfactory (you should go to the web sites and check them out briefly)? What questions remain? Comment in no less than 100 words for each classmate.

Week 8: Another Page from the Training Manual! Write another 250-word description that supports your training manual, just like you did for Week 7. This time respond as if you were their supervisor. Is the manual logical and organized? Does it cover everything that the employees should know? Are the textbook pages the appropriate ones? Are the web sites satisfactory (you should go to the web sites and check them out briefly)? If you think their work is outstanding, give them a raise! If not, then encourage them to do better next time. Comment in no less than 100 words for each classmate.

Week 9: Motivational Poster! After all that training, your crew is pretty well tuckered out. It's time to motivate them. Using a famous quote, literary reference, stunning image or some other trick, create a motivational poster for your employees. Then write a short paragraph (100 word minimum) on how and why this poster motivates us to achieve a deeper understanding of the ocean. Comment on two of your classmate's motivational posters from the viewpoint of one of the crewpersons.

Week 10: Job Assessment! The voyage is ending (or sinking), you've found a new job or you've earned enough money to sail off to the south Pacific. But before you go, you need to write a 250-word review of your job performance. What have been the strong points of your performance? What have been the weak points of your performance? What would you do differently next time? What advice do you have for the next person taking this job. Respond to your classmates as a fellow crewmember who has been through the same journey in at least 100 words. Indicate common or different experiences.

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