Grading Standards:

I follow the College of Wooster guidelines for grading.  “A” grades reflect excellent work, “B” grades very good work, “C” grades adequate work, and “D” minimal work.  Grades of “F” are reserved for work that is unsatisfactory in its content, relationship to the assignment, and/or degree of effort.  Plagiarism will always result in a failing grade.

Technology assignments will be graded according to several criteria including: content (adherence to the assignment, mastery of course materials and quality of thought), form (including aesthetics/appearance) and mastery of the technology.

Grade Components:

Professionalism & Participation (%):

Your active participation in class activities and discussion are crucial to the success of the course.  You are expected to come to class fully prepared to discuss the day’s readings; this includes bringing copies of your reading assignments so that you can support your ideas with specific examples, as well as your notes and questions on the material.  You will be graded on the quality of your contributions to our class discussions.  You cannot earn an excellent grade (A) in a discussion-based class like this one if you do not regularly contribute to our discussions.  Simply attending class without any further involvement in our discussions will result in a participation grade of “C” or “Satisfactory.”

You will be given the chance to evaluate your participation and make a case for what participation grade you deserve several times during the semester.  This is a chance for you to reflect on your involvement in the class, and to let me know how you feel you are doing.  I take your personal assessment very seriously.

Quizzes & Classroom Exercises

Class Notes Blog Post

Class notes blog posts serve as a place for you all to synthesize the work of our intellectual community.  These entries reflect students’ interpretations of the central idea of each class session, presenting your assessment of primary sources, historiographical debates, major historical figures, and how a day’s discussions fit into the larger course themes.  A blog is an excellent format for this type of reflection because of the interactive nature of tool.   You are all authors building a common understanding of our class work.

Each student will be responsible for composing a thoughtful, well-supported analysis of each class session’s discussion.  This will be not just a summary of what I’ve written on the board, but your reflection and analysis of the key themes of the course.  You will sign up here for your blog post responsibilities during the first week of class.  Here is the list of the assigned class periods for reference.

Each class session’s blog post should include the following elements:

  1. A one or two paragraph summary of the day’s activities.  What historical questions did we discuss in class?  How did the assigned readings for that day hold together?
  2. Transcribe at least one passage that we talked about in class, and explain how it related to the main point.
  3. Key terms that came up in class, plus a definition.
  4. Three (or more!) links to reputable websites or scholarly sources that, in some way, clarify, extend, or correct something that was said in class.
  5. Three or more potential examination questions.  If the quality of your work is high enough, I will use these questions as the basis for the final exam.

You should post your blog entry as soon as possible after class, and no later than 72 hours after your assigned session.   Please assign your post the category “Seminar Recap.”  For more tips on writing a good blog post, see here.  Note: I got this idea from Jason Jones’s Professor Hacker entry.

Blog Comments

Blogs provide a forum for you to engage in conversations outside of class, but this aspect is only useful when your classmates read attentively and make constructive comments.  Commenting on other students’ posts is part of your class participation.  You can respond to their posts, analyze related themes, or link to outside materials (with an explanation of the connection you’re making, of course).  For shy students, this is a great opportunity to show engagement with larger class themes.  For some additional tips on writing effective blog comments, read this.

Final Exam (%)