All assignments will be graded with letter grades, based on the following:
A+: 90-100 / A: 85-89 / A-: 80-84 / B+: 75-79 / B: 70-74 / B-: 65-69 / C+: 60-64 / C: 55-59 / D: 50-54 / F: 0-49
Assignments will count for the following portions of a student’s grade:
Blog Entries and Commentary (30%), Final Project (35%), Project Proposal (10%), Final Audit (15%), and In-Class Participation and Reading Quizzes (10%)
For more information on what each assignment entails, see the assignments page. I do not use plagiarism detection software when assessing student work. Final grades will be determined in accordance with the University’s official grading system. Below are the more specific rubrics I use to grade particular assignments.
Grading Rubric: Blog Entries and Comments
A- through A+: The content is focused and coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. It demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications, and it considers multiple perspectives when appropriate. The content reflects in-depth engagement with the topic, and it openly engages work by other students in the course.
B- through B+: The content is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Some connections are made between ideas; and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The entry reflects moderate engagement with the topic, and it moderately engages work by other students in the course.
C or C+: The content is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. It reflects passing engagement with the topic, and it hardly (if at all) engages work by other students in the course.
D: The content is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.
F: The content is missing or falls extremely short of the word count (e.g., it’s only 100-words-long).
At three different points during the term, a blogging grade will be given to each student. At the end of the term, these three grades will be averaged to comprise 30% of a student’s final grade. (That is, each blogging grade is worth 10% of a student’s final grade.) A blogging grade will consist of roughly two blog entries and a comment (at a minimum). While I will comment on blog entries throughout the term, I will not—at any time—publicly post any grades on student blogs.
(This grading rubric is borrowed, in part, from Mark Sample’s “Pedagogy and the Class Blog.”)
Grading Rubric: Research Project, Project Proposal, and Final Audit
A- through A+: Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the learning outcome(s), including some appropriate risktaking and/or creativity.
B- through B+: Offers a proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), which could be further enhanced with revision.
C or C+: Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with the course outcome(s), but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).
D: Minimally meets the basic outcome(s) requirement, but the demonstrated trait(s) are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.
F: Does not meet the outcome(s) requirement; the trait(s) are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.
How to Do Well in this Course
Read the material before we discuss it. Otherwise, you will not be able to follow conversations in class, let alone the lectures. Plus, demonstrating you’ve read the material means no quizzes.
Write while you read. For me this means annotating a text as I read it. You can annotate print and digital texts. (See me if you need ideas or resources.)
Come to class with ideas and questions. Be curious. Seek connections between texts, between projects, and between this course and others, even in other disciplines.
Take notes during class meetings. A good portion of your Final Project and Audit will intersect with what we talk about in class. Students who take good notes understand and retain the material better and then do better than students who do not.
Let me know when you don’t follow what I’m saying. I am not aware of what you do not know or do not understand, and I may assume more contextual knowledge on your part than you have. I find this stuff fascinating, but I will not always know what you want to investigate or know more about – so please tell me.
Persuasive projects take time. Before you submit a blog entry, and most certainly before you submit your proof of concept, consider circulating drafts. Ask friends or peers to give your work a gander. Come chat with me during office hours. Consider how your project can extend and even complicate our in-class discussions. Also avoid writing blog entries that are primarily descriptive.
Think of your blog entries as thought pieces that lead to your Final Project. Feel free to ask questions without answering them. The blog entries should also build upon each other (e.g., “In my last entry, I wrote…”). Over time, they should function as a way for you to refine your interests and pursue them—in a sustained way—through the collaborative project.
During class and in writing, be concrete when you comment on anyone’s work (including the texts we’re discussing). Quote it. Speak to specific gestures. And then respond with your own interpretations. When the work is by a peer, be sure to affirm his or her ideas (e.g., “I like how you…”).
Use the blog to share ideas and discuss the texts outside of class. If you have a question, then ask your classmates. If you hear something you want to remember, then blog it for later reference. If you like an entry by someone outside of your cluster, then leave a comment saying so.
(“How to Do Well in this Course” adapted from a syllabus written by Christopher Douglas, University of Victoria Department of English.)