[Erin Brockovich, 2000]

Discussion Questions
A regular assignment in this course should take no more than a few minutes a week: By 8pm on Thursday, every student every student must upload to Canvas FOUR open-ended discussion questions that directly concern that week’s materials (reading or film).

To post your questions, please go to the Canvas page for your section and look for “discussions.” Be sure to post your questions in that week’s discussion.

These questions should not be inquiries for more factual information. They should be open-ended. One quick way to decide if you have generated a discussion question is to ask yourself if you could find the answer to your question by searching the internet. If you could – if you are asking for facts – then it is not a discussion question. All questions will be graded on a credit / no credit basis, which means as long as you turn in four open-ended questions on time, you will receive full credit. To be clear, when you are assigned multiple materials in the same session, you need to turn in four questions total, not four questions for each item assigned.

We ask you to upload your questions because we are interested in what has made you think, what you think deserves more attention, or what is puzzling. More generally, we want to reinforce the idea that we should all be generating questions as we read, rather than looking for the "right" answers. Further, as we will discuss in class, it is actually quite difficult to come up with good questions and learning to do so is a skill. Please take this opportunity to be creative. Don't be afraid to ask big questions, but please keep that day's readings in mind. Always feel free to think across the readings and discussions.

Here are some good and bad example discussion questions for the Grinker reading, due for our second meeting:

A discussion question: How does gender as a metaphor shape Lese and Efe people’s lives?
Another discussion question: Do you think the people described in this article are happy with their lives? Do they feel discrimination?
Not a discussion question: When did Zaire become a nation independent of colonizing forces?
Notice that the second question is really asking for a fact. That’s not an open-ended question.
Also not a discussion question: Isn’t women’s body hair gross?
While it might prompt conversation, and you’re welcome to share such a thought in our class discussion, merely asking a yes / no question isn’t creating a discussion question. Your questions need to be open ended.

I look forward to your questions.