Criteria for Grades
This course will revolve around exploring a question which is very current and for which there is no settled answer yet. Therefore, we can’t determine grades based on obtaining “the right answer” or even learning “the content.” There will be content to be learned, but learning content is not the point of the class, just a means to the end.
In this kind of a course, grades will be based on two things: engagement and insights.
Engagement is like, but not the same as, effort. (Effort can mean merely going thru the motions. This is the opposite of engagement.) Engagement means taking the course seriously.
Engagement can be demonstrated in a number of ways:
- Doing a serious job on the tasks, especially the ‘effort’ based ones.
- Speaking up in class.
- Asking questions about things you don’t understand in class discussion.
- Scoring well on Gardner’s APGAR:
1. Did you read the material for today’s class meeting carefully?
No=0, Yes, once=1, Yes, more than once=2
2. Did you come to class today with questions or with items you’re eager to discuss?
No=0, Yes, one=1, Yes, more than one=2
3. Since we last met, did you talk at length to a classmate or classmates about either the last class meeting or today’s meeting?
No=0, Yes, one person=1, Yes, more than one person=2
4. Since our last meeting, did you read any unassigned material related to this course of study?
No=0, Yes, one item=1, Yes, more than one item=2
5. Since our last class meeting, how much time have you spent reflecting on this course of study and recent class meetings?
None to 29 minutes=0, 30 minutes to an hour=1, over an hour=2
Insight is something the group didn’t know. Insight, in the context of our class, is coming up with something, an answer to a question, a direction for us to go, anything which leads us to an answer to the research question.
Insight can be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Identifying the author’s argument in the books you read.
- Pointing out some global implications of the author’s argument.
- Answering questions, either online or in-class, that no one else has answered.
- Drawing conclusions about the sustainability of the Euro, based on the economic, finance and/or political aspects of the issue.
If you make a conscious effort to be engaged with the topics in this course, but produce no insights, you will earn a B for the course.
If you demonstrate insights on the topics in this course but are not engaged, you will earn a B for the course.
To get an A, you need to demonstrate both engagement and insights on the course topics.
If you show neither engagement nor insights, you’ll earn a C or less.
If at any time during the semester, you want to know where you stand, that is, what your tentative grade is, email me and I will respond within 24 hours.
At the end of the semester, I will ask you to write a commentary on your engagement and insights in our class. Your final grade will be determined based on my observations and the persuasiveness of the argument you make in your commentary.