Assessment

In this class, we’re using an assessment system called contract grading. This system of grading gives you a lot of control over your own fate, and it also means that there are no “points” in this class; you do the work, I give you feedback, and you keep on polishing it until we’re both happy with it. This is how you work on things in a professional setting, so it’s how we’re going to do things here as well.

In any contract, there are two parties. In this case, it’s you, the student, and me, the professor. So at the beginning of the semester, you’re going to submit a contract to me, telling me what grade you want, and what you’re going to do in order to get it. I’ll give you some parameters, but you’re also going to think creatively about how to keep yourself motivated.

You will submit your grade contract through this Google Form.

Your written contract will detail:

  • the requirements you will meet in order to receive the grade for which you’ve contracted,
  • the penalties you will incur for not meeting those requirements (these can’t be grade-related; think more like “I’ll do an additional something next week” or “I’ll volunteer to peer review a classmate’s script”),
  • Any things you think I need to know about your situation or circumstances that might affect your work in this class.

Every contract must include these elements:

  • You will come to synchronous class regularly (how often may be stipulated in your grade-specific contract).
  • You will work collaboratively in a constructive and non-threatening way with your fellow students.
  • You will revise any work that is not satisfactory until you and I deem them satisfactory.
  • You will write a self-assessment at the end of the semester that details how your work has fulfilled the contract you and I have agreed upon.

Contract for an A

If you wish to receive an A in this course, you must agree to at least these things:

  • Be absent from no more than 2 class periods during the semester.
  • Participate actively in class discussion, either on Zoom or virtually through our course Slack channel, including sharing additional resources you’ve discovered about course topics past your own area of focus.
  • Participate actively in the material responses in our weekly documents, not just answering the assigned questions but also posing and responding to additional ideas from the materials. You may miss one week.
  • Complete your book review on time, and revise until it is satisfactory.
  • Complete your annotated bibliography on time.
  • Complete all checkpoints for the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete all self-assessments throughout the semester.

Contract for a B

If you wish to receive a B in this course, you must agree to at least these things:

  • Be absent from no more than 3 class periods during the semester.
  • Participate actively in class discussion, either on Zoom or virtually through our course Slack channel, including sharing additional resources you’ve discovered about course topics past your own area of focus.
  • Participate actively in the material responses in our weekly documents, not just answering the assigned questions but also posing and responding to additional ideas from the materials. You may miss two weeks.
  • Complete your book review, and revise until it is satisfactory.
  • Complete all checkpoints for the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete all self-assessments throughout the semester.

Contract for a C

If you wish to receive a C in this course, you must agree to at least these things:

  • Be absent from no more than 5 class periods during the semester.
  • Participate actively in class discussion, either on Zoom or virtually through our course Slack channel, answering the questions in the prompt.
  • Participate actively in the material responses in our weekly documents, not just answering the assigned questions but also posing and responding to additional ideas from the materials. You may miss three weeks.
  • Complete your book review, and revise until it is satisfactory.
  • Complete several checkpoints for the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete the main project satisfactorily.
  • Complete all self-assessments throughout the semester.

D and F grades

You may not contract for a D or F (obviously). These grades are reserved for if you fail to meet the terms of your contract in a systemic way. If you maintain contact with me and your classmates about your struggles and needs, you should not fear getting a D or F.