Class will include significant "discussions", which will be a major
part of the grade. The class "time" will not all be lecture and
extended on-line discussions/blogging will be part of the process.
Class participation is a very important part of your grade. If you
are going to miss class you should contact us ahead of time via email
and probably provide a number I can call you to resolve the issue.
Everyone is expected to take part in class having done the reading,
written your reviews and taken part in a discussion group. When we
have visitors and you are unprepared, it will not be pretty. You
should always expect to be called upon to lead part of the discussion
in any class, critique any shared reading material, summarize your
individual reading material. Your group may want to prepare basic
materials so that any one of you can lead the discuss of your "groups"
For this class students who have an B+ or better before the final, cannot
have their grade lowered by the final, even if they don't show and get a 0.
If they don't do well on the final its 25% weighting will be spread equally
over the other items.
Each assignment/exam/team will be graded on a curve, and for each assignment
letter grades will be assigned (F=0 thru A+=4.33). A curve per assignment
will be used for all students (with assignments not turned in not affecting
the curve). In general each curves will have a mean between B- and B+,
depending on our assessment of the overall performance. Individual
"conceptual" assignments will have point values which reflect their relative
weight. Class participation grade will be based on our assessment of the
students voluntary contribution, plus their response to questions asked of them
during class. Interactions with the instructor outside of class (such as in
office hours) is also considered "class" participation.
Teams (and team grading)
Teams will be
organized by assignment (not student choice). Every team project will call
for a group report as well as a shorter individual report for each team
member. Each team assignment will be given a total number of points. Based
on the teams reports, each team will receive a total number of points. These
points will be shared, NOT NECESSARILY EQUALLY, among team members. The
individual report for a teach should address your contribution to the team
and how you feel the teams grade should be divided and why. Long term teams
assignments, if there are any, will allow teams to able to "fire" members, if
they document significnt ineffective memerbship and that they tried to get
the individual to change their behiavor. Fired student may find themselves
on a team of 1 or 2.
WORKLOAD and HOMEWORK
We expect students to devote an average of 6-7 hours per week OUTSIDE OF
CLASS on the work for this class. When working on brainstorming or other
activities its difficult to estimate how much effort some student will need
to spend to achieve the results. Ineffective team work can dramatically
expand an hour exercise into much more.
A few lectures will have "guest" speakers who will present and then we will
lead the discussion of issues. Other classes will be lead by you, the
students. If reading is assigned, come to class having done the reading. We
are generally not going to "summarize it" for you, rather we will discuss it
or do things using it.