Discussing Differences - Instructions for "Contributions"

Monthly Topics are discussed amongst the group.  Then, Participants submit email entries to contributions@discussingdifferences.com  (one page maximum). A website http://www.discussingdifferences.com has been set up as dedicated repository of the Group's previous contributions, also instructions, topics, schedule, bibliography, clippings, multimedia, etc..  Contributions may be made from the website as well.  Simply click on "Send a Contribution."

Participation for new members commences with Introductory Statements (see below).  

ASPEC Members may participate in Topics of their choosing.  However, Participants are encouraged to submit Introductory Statements, so everybody knows something about each Participant.  Members' guests may participate as well, as long as they are introduced (similarly to the Introductory Statement) and there are no capacity or other reasons to deny them.

Topic submissions are followed by  Discussion "contributions" two weeks after  Contribution dates.  These will also be limited to one page, so Participants should prioritize their comments!

How to participate - 

Register by stating your Special “Diverse” Interests, on one line, similar to below (See Participants for examples). Then submit an  Introductory Statement (one page maximum).  See Contributions for examples.

Registration Plus Introductory Statement!

Registration for ASPEC Interest Group - Discussing Differences

Participant ___________________________________

Special interests in diversity: (e.g. religion, race, gender, ethnicity, etc.) 

Introductory statement:  (State your personal interests in diversity, especially any defining experiences - maximum one page)

Rules for discussions?

The following thoughts are from a monograph , "Using Technology in Learner-Centered Education: by Brown, McCray, Runde and Schweizer. Some of this may be applicable:

Successful Postings

1. Think in terms of a dialogue, not a writing exercise.
2. Elaborate one single idea and keep your message to one paragraph - 150-200 words. (
DDO: We prefer up to 300 words, with  unlimited #'s of ideas.)
3. Read other posting carefully before you write.
4. Respond to one that contradicts or supports your own thoughts; one that is lacking in evidence or seems to fall short on an aspect that is important to you. (DDO: We solicit debate.)
5. Turn your own thoughts into questions; offer your argument (remember that an opinion is not an argument); play the devil's advocate; 
ask challenging questions.
6. Avoid hermetic responses that offer only right and wrong perspectives and ignore other possible answers.
7. If you are the first to post: post with a careful analysis and strong argument (thesis) and open-ended questions that invite dialogue.

(DDO: "Committed Conversation" is affirming of other persons, and inclusive of new ideas.  Maintaining Community is essential to the process of learning together.  "Unconditional Positive Regard" relates to people, not necessarily to ideas.  Respect, though, is and good listening are essential to good discussion.)