Arithmetically, your grade will be determined based on the following percentages:

Generally, though, my approach to assessment and grading comes from a friend and colleague named Dr. Gary Stager who wrote on his syllabi:

“This class requires active participation through collaboration, discussion, design, research and     development. Any work you produce should provide evidence of participation in the intellectual life of the course…All students are required to share ideas and skills with their classmates and to expand their own personal knowledge in ways beneficial to their classmates. Simply put, you need to learn whatever is necessary to support the learning and growth of your peers. Students are expected to not only complete all individual and collaborative tasks, but be active discussants. Highly successful students are distinguished by vigorous participation…”

So, from you, I expect “vigorous participation;” you will receive lots of feedback from me throughout the learning experience and all of your work will factor in to the formal grade I have to submit for you in this course. Here, too, though, I am in full agreement with Dr. Stager with respect to grading:

“I have strong reservations about both grades and rubrics. I believe that both practices have a prophylactic effect on learning. Doing the best job you can do and sharing your knowledge with others are the paramount goals for this course. I expect excellence…You should evaluate each course artifact you create according to the following “rubric.” The progression denotes a range from the least personal growth to the most.”

 (NOTE: I’ve modified this rubric slightly for our purposes)

  1. I did not participate
  2. I phoned-it in
  3. I impressed my colleagues
  4. I impressed my friends and neighbors
  5. I impressed my family
  6. I impressed Dr. Becker
  7. I impressed myself

From time-to-time, I will ask you to assess your own learning according to that scale. Also, while I believe the degree to which you impressed yourself should be the ultimate assessment in this and all doctoral courses, again, you will get feedback from me throughout this semester and you will get a formal grade.

One more piece from Dr. Stager: Let your personality shine and most importantly, HAVE A GO! Be present, take some risks, stretch yourself.”

Or, as Ms. Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus says,