Grading Plan

Here's a breakdown of how your grade in this course will be determined.

  • 20% - Midterm 1
  • 20% - Midterm 2
  • 25% - Final Exam
  • 15% - Problem Sets
  • 10% - Application Project
  • 10% - Class Participation

The first three are straightforward tests, each with a mix of multiple-choice and free-response questions. For the problem sets, I'll drop your lowest individual problem set grade and average the rest for your problem set score. The application project comes in two parts: the proposal, which contributes 30% of your application project score, and the project itself, which contributes the other 70%.

Class participation is a bit more complicated, but I've come up with a scheme that should provide sufficient motivation for you to participate in activities that will help you learn while also giving you some flexibility as to how you participate in the course.  See below.

Your numerical score for the course will be converted to a letter grade according to the following scale:

Score Grade
93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
0-59 F

Your class participation score has three parts:

  • Clicker Questions - Each day we use clickers, you'll get a score based on the percentage of the questions you answer (right or wrong). So if we have four clicker questions on a given day and you answer three of them (maybe because you're late to class and miss one), you'll get a 75 for that day. I'll average these daily scores for your overall clicker question score.
  • Pre-Class Reading Quizzes - Similarly, you'll get a score for each reading quiz based on the percentage of questions you answer (right or wrong). As long as it looks like you put some effort into your answers, you'll get full credit. I'll average these individual quiz scores for your overall PCRQ score.
  • Social Bookmarking - You'll have a number of small assignments to complete on Diigo or Pinterest this semester. Your overall social bookmarking score will be the percentage of these assignments that you complete.

I'll take all three of these scores (each out of a 100), add them together, divide by 240, and cap the result at 100.  That will be your class participation score, which contributes 10% of your final course grade. That means you can get a perfect class participation score without completing all three of these activities perfectly. You can, for instance, complete 80% of the clicker questions, reading quizzes, and bookmarking assignments and still get a 100 for your class participation score. Or you could answer all the clicker questions and complete all the bookmarking activities, but only finish 40% of the reading quizzes--and still get a 100 for your class participation score.

It sounds a little complicated, but if you jump in and participate, I think you'll find you'll get all the points you need.

Image: "Monroe Calculator," Derek Bruff, Flickr (CC)

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