Time Commment: You should assume that this course will require 12-15 hours per week.
2. Depending on class size, students will be organized into small groups of 3 to 5 students in each. Students will be able to read all the posts, but they will only be able to respond to students in their small group.
Each of the four units of the course will include a Coffee Shop. There will be no small groups in the Cofee Shop. Students may use that for conversations outside the subject matter of the course. If they desire, they may also use it to respond to things said by students in other small groups. Whatever is said in the Coffee shop will be outside the evaluative structure of the course.
3. Each student will be expected to make 1-4 posts addressing the topic of each forum, apart from optional forums which require neither initial posts nor responses. Normally each
post should not exceed 350 words.
The initial post by each student will respond to the topic of the forum. It will do so in conversation with the lectures
and other readings.
Each student will write a substantive response to two other students in their small group. If there are more than three students in a group, the members of that group are responsible to be sure that everyone in the group receives two responses. The instructor will respond once to the conversation.
Each student may respond once to the conversation about their initial post.
Students may read any or all of the posts by others in the course, regardless of their smqll group. However, students can only reply to students in their own small group.
limits on the size of posts require careful thought about what needs to be said. They
are also necessary for the conversation to be manageable.
instructor will engage in the conversation
once a week.
4. Write four short papers, one for each unit of the course,
not to exceed 350 words each.
first will describe how the student approaches thinking about
what he/she thinks and believes. What is the center in relation
to which she/he sees everything?
The other three will interpret the three articles of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan
Creed. See, for example, Luther's explanations in the Small Catechism.
Each paper will include three things: a brief statement of the
central content in the student's own words, what it means for
faith, and why it matters.
one-page papers must be posted in the appropriate section of the
Discussion Board by the beginning of the final week of the unit,
so that they can provide a basis for the work work that week.
final version of these four one-page papers will be presented
for evaluation during the final week of the courswe.
Participate in four small group discussions, one during the
final week of each unit.
students in each group will discuss and evaluate how each member
of the group approaches the subject and offer suggestions for
improving on their short paper.
Students willl identify what all can agree on, new insights from
other's papers, issues and problems that need thought.
Write a major paper not to exceed 3500 words. This paper
will address a topic central to the student's understanding of the
Christian message, and it will develop a clearly identified thesis.
It will combine research and personal reflection.
and respond to the papers of two other students. Each response
will indicate the one most helpful aspect of the paper, state
the most significant issue that needs to be addressed, and ask
one question of the author. The author will respond to the two
student responses and questions, as well as to the instructor's
response and questions.
Students will find it helpful to begin
work on the paper early in the course, and to have one or two
others read and critique their papers before presenting them in
their final form.
Read at least 900 pages of material related to three or
more different contexts, including one's own. The reader for the course satisfies this requirement. An annotated
bibliography covering everything read for the course is required
with the paper.