This page describes the overall grading
policies and methods. If you'd like to get a relatively easy A" in
this course, then do all (or almost all) the attendance and weekly
homework assignments, and at least a "C" on your term paper.
The Basics of
Grading for the Semester
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:
(or points): weekly homework papers
(or more): attendance and/or extra credit
The “Final” paper in Week
15/16 (a homework paper) must be completed and be good enough to receive at
least 4 X’s to pass the class.
Participation, attitude, attention, hard work--or lack of it--can slightly lower or raise
your final letter grade.
earn X's by completing the work. In attendance, an "X" (or a "V")
is about 70 min. of work. The same is true for extra credit - about 70
min. of work per X. In weekly homework, most assignments are worth 1-3 X
each. By the end of the term, your
total X's 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 is the first year in which I
have started using this system in online classes. However, I have used
this X's system of grading for three years 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.
(WEEKLY PAPERS) GRADE, 65% (65 points or X's)
This portion of your grade will be determined by how
many of your weekly, rough-draft, non-graded assignments you turn in. Most
assignments are worth one X, a few of them two X's. The most you can get
is 45 X's. You cannot be more than one week late with homework assignments
(and Drafts I and II of your term paper cannot be late at all). The X's
you earn will be added to the total X's you earn for the semester.
PAPER (Part of the Weekly Homework
The final paper is a homework paper that must be completed and must receive at
least 4 of the 7 X's given for it. It requires thinking, organization, and
reasonably decent grammar, spelling, and punctuation. To see the requirements
for it, go to the
How to Do Papers
web page of this web site.
GRADE, 35% (35 points or X's)
Attendance means attending D2L discussions, and going to events
or substitutes for events. Attendance is very important. Why? Some people
think that taking an online course means there is no attendance.
However, there is supposed to be either attendance or more work to replace it,
so really, no time is saved in taking an online course (except for commuting
time). In this class, just as much attendance is expected of you as if
you were taking the class on campus.
However, the majority of attendance for this class is online in
our section's D2L discussion boards. The rest is done by attending--or doing
substitute work for--the several events listed at the beginning of the this
site's web paged called
There are about 35 attendance X's to earn - or more if
you want extra credit X's. Each attendance activity "X" (or "V") is
designed to be about the equivalent of 70 minutes long. Some of you will
be able to do some attendances in much less time; others of you - especially
if you take more time than most to write or read, or if you like to write or
read at a leisurely, careful, or meditative pace - will need to spend more
(Please note: it is okay - sometimes even good
and wise - to learn to write and read faster, especially in a course like this
that requires large amounts of both reading and writing. Generally, when
people read faster - without skipping sentences - they tend to actually
remember the contents better. And when people write faster, at least in
rough-draft writing - as for most of the weekly papers - they tend to get more
interesting and varied ideas out. So please, seriously consider learning
to read and write faster in this class.)
THE REVISION, PARTICIPATION,
IMPROVEMENT, ETC. GRADE
of the grade generally is based on the average of what you have done for
attendance and weekly homework. If your grade is on the
line, it could go down or up because of your participation, careful attention to
the final homework paper, and your hard work. In general, the
best thing you can do to assure yourself a good standing in this part of the
class activities is, simply, to get a good grade on everything else.
Beyond that, here are some other ways to establish a better standing in this
part of the class activities:
(a) Participate very verbally by
"talking" actively in the bulletin-board classes, sharing your ideas,
responding to others, and asking questions. It also helps to ask
questions at the museum visit and to ask me questions after you've already
checked the FAQs pages and still don't know something.
(b) get 1/2 hr. or more of tutoring
help from IHCC Writing Center tutors, Smarthinking online tutors, me, or
someone else qualified in tutoring writing
when you are revising and editing your final project paper,
(c) show significant extra effort on assignments--by
extra length of writing or, clear for me to see, extra time,
Attend the individual consultation in person or by phone
between you and me that is planned as part of this course, or otherwise get
help from me when you need it, and
Show respect, kindness, and care for the opinions and feelings of others
on the bulletin boards, and
(e) demonstrate significant attention to
- and good attitude about - learning, to both me and everyone else in our class.
How can this part of your grade go lower? You can
plagiarize. (In fact, if your plagiarism is extensive--week after week or
throughout the final homework paper, you may even flunk the course.) What is
plagiarism? It means not giving credit to an author. There are two ways you can
plagiarize: (a) out-and-out use of an author's words without using quotation
marks and not giving the author credit; (b) using an author's ideas without
giving the author credit. Yes, this means you must not only use quotations marks
and the author's name when you use his or her words, but you also must
give an author credit when you mention any idea by her--even if you are using
your own wording.
Other ways go can make your grade lower are: You can
keep quiet; in the bulletin boards, offering few, poor, or overly short or
overly simple answers and responses; avoid me as much as possible; be negative
or cynical about learning to other students; leave work unfinished; have poor
attendance; and, of course, earn very low points (X's) on attendance, weekly
papers, and your final homework paper.
majority of students who take this course demonstrate good to excellent
behavior, and all of those who finish the course also work hard. I look
forward to good to great behavior from each of you, and hard work, as well.
MAKEUP WORK AND EXTRA CREDIT COUNT AS "ATTENDANCE"
make up missed attendance by doing extra writing. Weekly papers cannot
be turned in more than one week late (and Drafts I and II of the term paper
cannot be late at all.) After weekly papers are late, you cannot make
them up. (However, you may still read and write
about them, state how long this took, and receive extra credit for the time
you spent.) You also may do a number of extra-credit assignments,
write about them, and earn extra credit at the rate of one X per 70 min. To see how makeup and extra-credit work, please
go to "Attendance/Make
and Extra Credit."
"Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy"
NOTE--New Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy: As of summer
2007, all Inver Hills students must maintain a
67% completion rate for all credits
attempted. This is in addition to the existing requirement that students earn
a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or above. You can drop a class in the
first week, and this does not affect your completion rate. However, if
you withdraw after that, fail to finish the course, or take an "I"
(Incomplete), this will affect your completion rate and also may affect your
eligibility for financial assistance. See
for the complete policy.
How to Estimate Your Grade
FIRST HALF OF SEMESTER (Wks. 1-10):
In Weeks 1-10, roughly 50 X’s are
possible (or more with extra credit). Count your X’s for Weeks 1-10—attendance,
weekly homework, and extra credit (on attendance sheet), and then determine what
grade you have so far:
50+ X’s/points = A+
45-49 = A
40-44 = B
35-39 = C
30-34 = D (You’ll need to start working much harder to pull off a “C”
25-29 = F (You’re in very bad shape. Start working a LOT harder,
or, if it's not yet past Wk. 14, take a “W.”)
20-24 = F- (You probably can’t catch up--you would have to double the
amount of work you are doing, making the course, effectively, like an 8-cr.
course instead of just a 4-cr. course. You probably should take a
“W” before they stop giving them at the beginning of Wk. 14.)
0-19 = FF (You’re so far behind you can’t catch up. Take a “W” before they
stop giving them at the start of Wk. 14.)
ANY PART OF THE SEMESTER:
Count all your X’s and all
your 0's, and then use this formula to figure out your grade:
· Count your total X’s and
0’s. Count all X's and 0's in the attendance records and
papers records. If you have extra credit, also add it to the total of X's:
count it as one X for every 70 min.
· "F" average in the class
anytime: You have about half X's and half 0's (or worse).
(For example, if you have 10 X's and 10 0's, or 30 X's and 30 0's, that
would be an "F" average. And if you have only 5 X's and 15 0's, you would
have a very low "F.")
· "D" average in the class:
You have about two X's for every one 0.
(For example, if you have 20 X's and 10 0's, or 40 X's and 20 0's, that
would be a "D" average.)
· “C” average in the class:
You have about three times as many X’s as 0’s.
(For example, 30 X’s and 10 0’s, or 60 X’s and 20 0’s, would be about a "C"
· “B” average in the class:
You have at least four times as many X’s as 0’s.
(For example, 40 X’s and 10 0’s, or 60 X’s and 15 0’s, would be a "B"
having at least 9 X's for every 0, or
me if you are having trouble figuring out how to do this: send me your X's
(points) totals and ask me questions about what you don't understand.
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