English 2235


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Eng  2 235
Attendance & Participation


Below is a brief description of how the overall attendance grade is determined and how your participation and improvement affect your overall grade.  Policies for make ups and extra credit also are described.  If you're wondering what general types of activities you can do for extra credit, that is described below, too. 


NOTE: THIS IS THE VERSION FOR 1140. IF I TEACH 2235 AGAIN, I'LL NEED TO CHANGE A FEW LITTLE THINGS BACK--such as the "100-min. X," which will need to be changed back to a 70-min. X. And if I use this for Hum 1110, I'll need to add back in the stuff about museums et al.


Basics of Attendance Grade

Attendance is established mostly by your attendance on the D2L discussion boards. There also are several times when you will, either online or in physical meetings (your choice) attend such events as a first-week meeting, plays/museum visits, and an end of semester individual consultation.

Remember that attendance is NOT homework. Homework is what you email to me. Attendance, most of the time, means going on the D2L discussion boards and interacting with others in the class by giving them messages. 

Remember, too, that this is a four-credit class (not the normal three credits), and so the workload is 33% more than is normally expected for a three-credit class. This applies to the total time you spend both in attendance and homework. For attendance, the expected time spent is the same as four 50-min. classes, or 200 minutes per week.

The grading for the semester is based on 100 X's (100 points or 100%) being equal to an A+.  The X's you can earn are divided as follows:

    • 65 X's (or points): weekly homework papers

    • 35 X's (or more): attendance and/or extra credit

    • Participation, attitude, attention, hard work--can slightly lower or raise final letter grade

  • You earn X's by completing the work.  In attendance, an "X" (or a "V") is about 100 min. of work.  The same is true for extra credit - about 100 min. of work per X.  (In weekly homework, most assignments are worth 1 X each, with a few being equal to 2 X's.)  By the end of the term, your total X's for attendance, extra credit, and homework will determine your grade as follows:

  • 100 (or more) X's = A+
    90-99 X's = A
    80-89 X's = B
    70-79 X's = C
    60-69 X's = D
     0-59 X's = F

  • Basically, you can determine your grade by how many X's you earn.  The method of doing well in this class is to earn as many X's as you can, depending on what grade you want.  2009 was the first year in which I have started using this system in online classes.  However, I have used this X's system of grading since 2006 in writing classes on campus, and about 90-95% of students - once they get used to it - report by the end of the term that they think it is a great system, one of the clearest and most fair they have ever used, and they recommend I use it with future classes.

  • Anyone going 2+ weeks with no attendance activity will be dropped from the class.

  • Make ups and Extra Credit: See below.


"Students are expected to attend all sessions of each class in which they are enrolled. If an illness or emergency results in an absence, students should meet with their instructors to determine if missed work can be completed. A student may receive a course grade of FN or NC after two consecutive weeks (or equivalent in accelerated courses/terms) of unexcused absence at any time during the semester. Students who receive and FN grade may request to have their grade changed to a W (withdraw) if done so by the course’s withdrawal deadline.  Class attendance is defined as being physically present in the classroom. Online attendance is defined as having submitted an assignment, taken a quiz, or posted/made a course content-related comment on the discussion/chat board for the course in which the student is registered."

"Subpart A. Last date of attendance: Instructors issue a grade of FN for students who never attend class or stop coming to class. If a student misses two weeks of class (or equivalent in accelerated courses/terms), instructors may report a last date of attendance and issue a grade of FN. The FN grade is punitive because it counts against both GPA and completion rate."

"Subpart B. Academic calendar: PSEO students and students enrolled at other colleges must follow the Inver Hills official academic calendar as it relates to their attendance and registration at Inver Hills. Term breaks, holidays, and non-class days at other institutions and vacations do not supersede the Inver Hills requirements or academic calendar."


Extra Credit and Make Ups (1-1-14)

If you are past the final due date for either attendance or homework, you may, instead, make them up using extra credit. When you complete make-ups, you are awarded X's as extra credit.  Each X = 100 min. of time spent. You also may earn extra credit anytime you want by completing extra work: each 100 min. = 1 X. 

Extra Credit/Make Up Options

Always let me know when you are turning in extra credit/make up work. Remember to tell me the source and how much time you spent both reading and writing. You will get credit on the "Attendance" record--in the "Extra Credit" section, for the number of minutes you worked.

Methods of Getting Extra Credit:

  • Get help about the course and writing the papers for it at the Writing Center. Have a tutor send me an email stating how long you were there. 

  • Write late homework assignments or D2L attendance. Let me know how much time you spent writing (and reading, too, if that was part of it).

  • Read high-quality literature and write 200+ w. per 30 pp. (or per 10 poems) about it. Let me know how much time you spent reading and writing.

  • Attend a live literary play (which means almost anything at college or professional theaters; ask me first if it's a high school production). Write 200+ w. per hour of the actual play time; then tell me how much time you spent watching, writing, and traveling to and from it (up to 60 min.).

  • Read other teaching/learning resources (web or print) that describe how to read literature or write about it. Write 200+ w. per 30 pp. or 30 regular computer screens. Let me know how much time you spent reading and writing.

  • See a literary video (1/2 credit only). A literary video is, in this class, a video based fairly closely on a recognized work of literature. For example, any Shakespeare video or ancient Greek play in video form would be worth 1/2 credit. Write 200+ w. per hour of viewing, and let me know how much time you spent in watching and writing--and I'll give you 1/2 credit (For example, if you watch and write for 2 hrs., you'd get credit for 1 hr.).
            What else does qualify as a literary video? If it comes from a clearly literary reading and follows it closely, then it can count. For example, movies can count that closely follow the literary books Beowulf, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter/Hogwarts award-winning books. So can high quality children's literature in a high quality movie that closely follows the book, such as Cat in the Hat. All of these are worth 1/2 credit.
            What does not qualify? Two recent examples are two highly dramatized movies that do not closely follow a highly literary book: 300, and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Another example is Ghandi--while Ghandi might be an excellent movie, it is not based on a highly literary book. Thus none of these examples are worth any credit.
            If in doubt, Google the video to see if there is a corresponding work of literature it is made from. Then email me, tell me what you found out, and ask me if it qualifies for 1/2 extra credit.


Participation and Improvement

For very poor participation/improvement, you might have up to one letter grade deducted from your final grade for the course. For excellent to superior participation/improvement, you may have your letter grade at the end of the course raised slightly, especially if it is one to three points below the level for the next higher grade. 

The most important thing you can do in this course is to participate fully.  Participating fully means much more than just attending class and doing the assignments.  It also means actively putting your mind, heart, and guts into learning in this classroom.  It means talking, listening, responding, thinking beyond the text, and being interactive with the instructor and other students.  It means that if you find the assignments easy, you still won't get a good grade unless you learn and participate beyond what you now know.  It also means that if you struggle to do the assignments and have difficulty getting good grades in them, your positive attitude and hard work might make a difference in grading. 


Talking as an Academic Community

Required reading: Developing an academic community--and maintaining a positive, balanced, objective tone in class, emails, bulletin boards, and other communication--is very important.  To see more details about this, please go to "Talking as an Academic Community."


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Useful Tips for
Taking This Course


Attending is a Big Part of Class: I  know that this is an online class and there seems to be little or no "attendance."  But while we may not meet in a physical classroom much, there is still just as much attendance.  Much of it is done in the form of bulletin board discussions.  Attendance is 40% of your grade, so be sure to attend regularly!  It's an easy 40% if you just attend..

Going on Field Trips: The field trips are a wonderful and enormous learning experience.  We have some of the very finest regional theaters in the nation and one of this country's best art museums.  It is truly can be a moving and important experience to go to them.  We will have a trained guide at the museum, and we will see two plays, at least one play at the world-famous Guthrie Theater.


Ariel 9 pt, 6, 6, 133%

Updated 1 Jan. 2015



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