Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Proposed Changes to Syllabus

I heard from a small delegation of students today that the writing workload for our course is .... a challenge. My inner self immediately recalled the old days, when I was a undergraduate, where we had three fifty-page papers for each third year course (and walked to university fifty miles in the snow, uphill both ways), and I also inwardly hummed the second verse of Kris Kristofferson's "Best of All Possible Worlds."

However, my kind, gentle accommodating outer self committed to a review of the assignment array, particularly in relation to the five small group assignments, which were presented as requiring some significant work.

On reflection, I present the following adjustment of the assignment requirements, which require unanimous agreement before they can be implemented.
  • Change from 5 small group assignments to 2, each of the two worth 10% of the course grade, and both can be on either the formal aspect or a social context. You can chose any two of your currently scheduled dates for these assignments. The class presentation date will remain the same.
  • The small group assignment being then worth 20%, the remaining 5% of the current assignment weight will then transfer to the seminar group project, which would keep the same criteria, but would be worth 25% of the course grade instead of the current 20%.
  • Change the Final essay world length, currently 3500 words, to "between 3000-3500 words"
So, the updated weighting would look as follows (changed text emboldened.)

20% Four individual written research presentations (4 x 250 words)
20% Two group written research presentations (2 x 400 words per student)
25% One group written evaluative presentation (1500 words per student or equivalent)
35% One final research paper (between 3000-3500 words)
I will discuss in person with Thursday seminars, and then send an email to all class members and poll the preference.

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