Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adjustments for Second Semester

Happy New Year everyone.

The basic structure of our class will be the same. My views on homework haven't changed - I really don't think homework should be a big part of your grade (it's a time to practice and get better, not get graded) - and I also don't want to take class time just to check to make sure you've done it (I think there are better uses of our class time).

Based on the feedback that many of you gave me on the evaluation, however, you have a different opinion, so I'm going to compromise a bit. I'm going to bump up the "Preparation" category to 15% of your grade (from 10%), and drop the Skills Assessment to 67.5% and the Final Exam to 17.5%. Each day we have class you will have some kind of homework assignment that you'll need to submit on the Moodle that will be graded for completion.
  • For the homework videos, you'll still need to watch them and complete the self-check problems in your notebook, but now I'm going to ask you to submit the answers to the self-check problems on the Moodle. (That way I don't have to take class time to check that you've done them.)
  • The online pre-assessments will still be on the Moodle, but now I will grade them (again, for completion).
  • On nights when you don't have a video or a pre-assessment, you'll have some other short assignment - perhaps a couple of homework problems or a blog post - and you'll submit that on the Moodle as well (if it's a blog post, you'll submit the URL on the Moodle).
Other than that, things will be pretty similar to first semester. Please read through the course expectations again to re-familiarize yourself with them. One word of caution, second semester is a bit harder for many students. Most of the topics we covered first semester you had at least some exposure to before. Most of the topics in second semester, however, will be new to you. So I encourage you to really stay on top of things, come in for help when you need it, and do a good job on your re-assessments if and when they are necessary. 

Once you feel like you completely understand these changes for second semester, please fill out this form to indicate your understanding. 

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