Career Counselor Responses

Section A

Being well versed in peer-reviewed research literature of the psychology field and being able to mine traditional and online research library databases for research literature are important expectations of college-level scholars. As a college-level instructor, what strategies might you use to orient students to the peer-review process and the value it imparts on the research? How does that relate to the development of your students’ critical thinking skills?

For this Discussion, review and study this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the following scenario: You have been asked to develop a 4-week online course for beginning graduate students in which they learn to critically evaluate research journal articles. Reflect on online teaching strategies that might facilitate critical thinking in this 4-week course. Consider how you might introduce the online library in the first week of class. Think about what strategies you might use to encourage your students’ critical thinking skills in their evaluation of peer-reviewed psychology journals.

With these thoughts in mind:

a brief explanation of one online teaching strategy you might use to encourage your students’ critical thinking skills in the first week of class through the use of the online library. Then explain how the strategy you selected facilitates the development of critical thinking skills.

Be sure to support your post with specific references to the Learning Resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full, APA-formatted citations for your references.

explaining two strategies your colleague might use to evaluate the students’ learning.

Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full, APA-formatted citations for your references.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Section B

Beyond exploring or advancing a topic, class discussions reveal student learning and comprehension. How are these aspects of discussion facilitated in an online course? Consider how discussions differ in an in-person class versus online. In-person class discussions often progress spontaneously and the immediacy of a real-time discussion lends itself to less formality. In an online discussion, students have time to carefully consider their comments, add references and citations, and formalize their writing. Similarly, grading online discussions requires an in-depth assessment of students’ logical arguments, content, writing style, and formatting. As an online instructor, one of your primary responsibilities is to monitor and evaluate discussion posts. This week you grade a student discussion post against the grading rubric provided. How do you continue to motivate the student’s efforts while critically assessing the content of his or her discussion post?

For this Discussion, review and study this week’s Learning Resources, including the discussion post and the grading rubric provided for its assessment. Consider how you might comment on the student’s post to improve the student’s future posts. Finally, think about how you might apply the grading criteria in order to complete the grading rubric for this student’s post.

Your discussion should include your comments to the student and a description of your grading process, which should include answers to the following questions:

  • As an instructor, what were your concerns while grading the discussion post?
  • What criteria were you looking for in order to determine the grade you assigned?
  • How did you feel about and what insights did you gain from the grading process?

With these thoughts in mind:

a summary of your comments to the student and your grading process. In an attachment, include the student discussion post you corrected, with your comments and corrections in track changes. In the same document, include the completed grading rubric for the discussion post.

Be sure to support your post with specific references to the Learning Resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full, APA-formatted citations for your references.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.

an explanation of how the feedback your provided might be received by the student. Provide an alternate response you might use, and explain how it might further facilitate learning.



  • Richardson, J. C., & Ice, P. (2010). Investigating students’ level of critical thinking across instructional strategies in online discussions. Internet and Higher Education13(1–2), 52–59.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Stadtlander, L. M., & Giles, M. J. (2010). Virtual instruction: A qualitative research laboratory course. Teaching of Psychology37(4), 281–286.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Stavredes, T. (2011). Effective online teaching: Foundations and strategies for student success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Chapter 12, “Establishing Social Presence Through Learner-to-Learner Collaborative Strategies” (pp. 131–149)
    • Chapter 13, “Establishing Instructor Presence Through Instructor-to-Learner Interaction Strategies” (pp. 151–157)
    • Chapter 14, “Communication Tools to Support Cognitive, Social, and Teaching Presence” (pp. 167–181)
  • Document: Student Discussion Post (PDF)

    Note: Reference this document in order to respond to Discussion 2.
  • Document: Student Discussion Post Rubric (Word document)

    Note: Reference this document in order to respond to Discussion 2.


  • Laureate Education (Producer). (2010a). Best practices for online learning [Video file]. Retrieved from
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