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Discussion board

Discussion board

Discussion board

Question Description

There are two parts of this course that give your instructor an opportunity to know you personally: general communication through messages, and discussion board. Discussion board is a formal way for your instructor to learn about your writing skills and your ability to synthesize, analyze and evaluate information (AKA ‘critical thinking’). More importantly, it is your opportunity to learn how to improve these skills.

Scientists communicate with each other and with the general public in writing. Just as in other fields of study, the ability to write clearly and concisely is essential to being successful as a scientist. At the college level, it is unacceptable to write in incomplete sentences, use incorrect grammar or sentence structure, to misspell words, or fail to correctly punctuate your sentences. If you have difficulty with writing, there are resources that you need to use before you submit your discussion board answer for grading. Here are some possibilities:

  • Purchase a book that you can reference when you are writing to check your grammar. Strunk and White is a good one, but there are many available.
  • Grammarly (free website) could also be helpful.
  • Purchase or use an on-line dictionary.
  • Purchase or use an on-line thesaurus.
  • Pair up with another student and read and edit each other’s posts before you submit them to the formal discussion forum.
  • Type your work in a word processing program and then copy and paste into the discussion board. You can then use the features of the word processor to catch most spelling and grammar mistakes. Remember, these will NOT help with word usage errors (there, their, they’re–for example).
  • Be particularly careful about the use of apostrophes (its and it’s are NOT the same words). I am amazed at the number of times I see incorrect use of apostrophes.
  • CTC Research Assistance Paper Review Service at

If there are too many grammatical errors in a post, you will receive a ZERO for the post. A specific number of errors is not given, because the situation is different if you write 100 words and have 5 grammatical errors or if you write 500 words and have 5 grammatical errors. Also, there are degrees of error. For example, the words affect and effect can be very difficult to use correctly, while avoiding sentence fragments and basic spelling errors should be very easy.

Another hazard of discussions is that students often simply repeat what has already been posted. The material posted must be original– not repetitious of posts of other students. Students should also find their own sources. Do not wait until others post and then just go to the sites they found.

Finally, it is critical to correctly cite sources. Here are some examples of how you may cite in the discussions:

  1. In a study by Smith (1991) on the species……determined that the species was self- incompatible.
  2. The species …. is self-incompatible (Smith, 1991)….
  3. In a study by Smith (1) on the species…..
  4. The species is self-incompatible (1)…..

At the bottom of the post, you will then write:

    1. Smith, S., 1991. Pollination ecology …….[you give the full title]. American Journal of Botany 22(3). [you give the full source either in APA or MLA format] If you got the information from a web site, you would put the web site here. Again, this citation may either follow MLA or APA

Following is the grading scale for discussion questions:

Initial Post Possible Points Points Earned
Post has correct grammar and punctuation. 3
Post addresses the topic in an original way. 2
Post demonstrates integration of information and personal relevance of the topic. 2
References are correctly formatted. 1
Reply is at least 100 words, not including niceties like “You did a great job on this post. Way to go”. The reply will also show critical thought about the post and/or the topic. 2
Extra credit may be earned for particularly well developed and well synthesized, analyzed and evaluated material. Up to 10 points EC
You will earn a zero if you do not cite sources in the text of the post, you do not cite complete sources at the end of the post or you have an excessive number of grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors. = 0 for the whole post

Complete this assignment using complete sentences in a paragraph format, and be sure to check your spelling when complete.

The following are specific types of transporters found in cell membranes. Choose ONE of these and describe in detail:

  1. how the transporter works
  2. whether it is an active or passive transporter
  3. a specific type of cell that it can be found in and why it is important in this cell type
  4. consequences for body function when this transporter type fails (due to a mutation that makes it non-functional).

In some cases, you may be able to find a specific related disease. If you do not, think about why the transporter needs to be in the cell type you named and think about what would happen to the body if the transporter did not work.

Respond to Others: No more than two students can discuss a particular transporter. Once you make a choice, post your choice so that no more than one other person works on the same transporter type. Many of the descriptions will be quite technical. It is your job to write the description for your transporter so that your classmates can easily understand it. This means you will probably have to look up quite a few terms and re-word them into “common” language.

Transporter types:

  • Sodium/Potassium Pump (this one is quite straight forward so you should be able to give a very detailed description).
  • GLUT transporters (choose one of these):
    • GLUT 1
    • GLUT 2
    • GLUT 3
    • GLUT 4
  • Sodium/Glucose transporters in enterocytes
  • Hydrogen ion/sucrose transporters in companion cells
  • Gated ion channels in the cochlea of the ear
  • Voltage-gated Na+ channel
  • Voltage-gated K+ channel
  • Voltage-gated Ca+2 channel
  • NKCC1
  • NKCC2
  • Chloride leak channels
  • Hydrogen ion (H+) ATPase
  • Dopamine transporter (DAT)
  • Serotonin transporter
  • Norepinephrine transporter

Respond to others: Compare and contrast the type of transporter you reviewed with those that others reviewed. Classify at least 5 transporters other classmates posted about as active or passive. Choose a transporter reviewed by another student and go into more depth on the mechanism by which it operates or the need for the transporter in the cell type in which it is found, and make corrections to another student’s post if they are incorrect about something they have posted.

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