Unit 1 Discussion Board
Deliverable Length: 3 – 4 Paragraphs

The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each week.

A. Questions for weekly discussions and conversations (not part of the required Discussion Board assignment)

These questions can serve as the starting point for your discussions during the week. They are “thought starters,” so that you can explore some ideas associated with the discussion board and unit topics. Answers are not required, and should not be submitted with your required assignment. Answers are not graded.

  • Which do you think is more effective, reinforcement or punishment?
  • What do you think are the strongest motivators for most people?

B. Required Discussion Board assignment.

You have just begun an internship as a school psychologist in an elementary school. The sixth grade teacher has asked for your advice for helping a student who habitually turns assignments in late. The teacher is interested learning more about using positive reinforcement to help this student. 

To prepare to help the teacher, research and provide a definition and an example for each of the following:

  • Negative reinforcement
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Positive punishment
  • Negative punishment

Address the following in your discussion:

  • Sometimes, people unknowingly reinforce undesirable behaviors. Provide an example of this and discuss the resulting consequences. 
  • Discuss how one can avoid rewarding wrong behaviors.
  • Based on what you have learned about rewarding behavior, what advice would you give to the 6th grade teacher?

Post your answers to the discussion. Choose the posting of at least two other students and review the advice the student has given to the 6th grade teacher. Discuss this advice. Did you agree or disagree with the advice? Can you add any other suggestion to your classmates’ advice?                                                                               

In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board and comment on other postings. You will be graded on the quality of your postings. 

Be sure to cite all references in APA format.

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials. Please refer to the following multimedia course material(s).

  • Week 1 – Fundamentals of Psychology
  • Week 1 – Behaviors in Psychology

Grading Guidelines



Content – provides definition and good examples of reinforcement and punishment, provides an original idea for helping the 6th grade student – using the concepts studied


Subsequent posts to other students show thought and originality


Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format are correct and professional

All sources cited using APA


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