Humanities 1110


Inver Hills Community College

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Hum 1110
Attendance, Extra
Credit, & Participation


Below is a brief description of how the overall attendance grade is determined and how your participation and improvement affect your overall grade.  Policies for make ups and extra credit also are described.  If you're wondering what general types of activities you can do for extra credit, that is described below, too. 


Basics of Overall Grading

(Note: Parts of these "Basics of Grading" also appear at the beginning of the "Attendance" web page and in the "Records" web pages. This repetition is to help those who don't look at our entire web site, or who have trouble adding their X's, to better figure out their grade at any given time.)

What is the "X's" System?

Attendance and Weekly Papers are based on an "X's System" of 100 X's, total, for attendance and weekly papers. You usually get one or two X's for each attendance and each homework assignment. A "C" in the course means you've earned at least 70 X's; a "B" means you've earned at least 80 X's; an "A" means you've earned at least 90 X's.

It also may help you to remember that this course is a four-credit class (not the normal three credits), and so the workload is 33% more--and harder--than is normally expected for a three-credit class. 3-credit college classes usually expect you to attend and do homework for 9 hrs./wk. for an "A." However, 4-credit classes usually expect you to attend and do homework for 12 hrs./wk. for an "A." In regard to attendance specifically, in this class, the expected time spent is the same as four 50-min. classes, or 200 minutes per week.

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:

  • About 55 X's (very roughly, depending on the semester) are for weekly homework papers (part of which includes a Final Paper worth 9 X's).

  • About 20-25 X's (very roughly, depending on the semester) are for attendance on D2L

  • The rest--roughly 10-15 X's--is attendance in real or online time at special events or meetings.

  • Extra Credit X's also are allowed. (See below.)

  • Participation, attitude, attention, and hard work can lower or slightly raise your final grade for the course

  • At least half of all the X's/points you earn--for whatever grade you earn--must come from the regularly assigned homework and attendance. In other words, you must complete at least half of the expected assignments for your grade, with extra credit only being able to substitute for the other half.

You earn X's by completing the work.  In attendance, an "X" (or a "V") is about 100 min. of work.  The same is true for extra credit - about 100 min. of work per X.  (In weekly homework, most assignments are worth 1 X each, with a few being equal to 2 X's.)  By the end of the term, your total X's for attendance, extra credit, and homework 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, 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 was the first year in which I have started using this system in online classes.  However, I have used this X's system of grading since 2006 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.


How to Estimate Your Grade

It might help you to remember that you need at least 90% of the X's for an "A." If you have about 3/4ths of the X's and 1/4th 0's, you would earn a "C." If you'd like more detail, here are three ways to know your grade by counting your X's and 0's:

EASY WAY. Every week or two, be sure you earn this many X's:

  • Earn at least three out of every five possible X's for a "D."

  • Earn three out of every four possible X's for a "C."

  • Earn at least four out of every five possible X's for a "B."

  • Earn at least nine out of every ten possible X's for an "A."

Simply look at the X's on the attendance and weekly papers records,  see how many are possible every week or two of three, and then count each one you have earned. (If this is confusing to you, do some counting; then email me, Richard, with the results and tell me where/how you are confused.

MEDIUM-DIFFICULT WAY. At any point in the semester, you can count how many X's and 0's you have on the records. Then use this simple chart:

  • With half X's & half 0's, you so far have an "F."
    (For example, 20 X's & 20 0's would be an "F.")

  • With 2/3rds X's and 1/3rd 0's, you so far have a "D+."
    (E.g., 22 X's and 11 0's would be, so far, a "D+.")

  • With 4/5ths X's and 1/5th 0's, you so far have a "B-."
    (E.g., 20 X's and 5 0's would be, so far, a "B-.")

  • With 9/10ths X's and 1/10th 0's, you so far have an "A."
    (E.g., 45 X's and 5 0's would be, at the time, an "A.")

LONGER, MORE DETAILED WAY. You can count your X's now, and also estimate the X's you expect to get; then use this overall chart to determine your grade:

  • 90-100 X's = A for the course

  • 80-89 X's = B for the course

  • 70-79 X's = C for the course

  • 60-69 X's = D for the course

  • 59 or lower X's = F for the course

Basically, you can build your own grade by how many X's you earn.  I have been using this method in online literature classes since 2009, and the great majority of students have recommended that I keep using this system as a way of grading because it is more fair and clearer. 

Note: Remember that this is a four-credit class (not just the normal three credits). And so the workload is 33% more than is normally expected for a three-credit class. This applies to the total time you spend both in attendance and homework. For attendance, the expected time spent is the same as four 50-min. classes, or 200 minutes per week. In addition, if you are a significantly slower-than-average reader, the course may take even more time.


Basics of Attendance Grade

Attendance in this course and section is very important.  Why? Most of the course will not be lecture (and when it is, I'll try to offer something not in the textbooks, or bring together parts of the textbooks in ways the books themselves do not).   Instead, the course will have more of a practical workshop format: you'll actually be doing or observing something about or in the humanities--practicing them and discovering them--in class.  There will be group activities, movies, perhaps even music and visits to such places as museums.  Everything we do in class is designed to be the centerpiece of the week's study and work--to draw everything you've read together.  For these reasons,  I ask that you be there regularly (or do substitute work when you miss).  However, if you are willing to do extra work outside of class, you can also treat this course as a sort of semi-independent study by regularly doing "make-up" work.

Each week, we have the equivalent of three classes, each one about 70 min. long. (This 210 min. is about the equivalent of having four 50-min. classes each week.) Most of these online attendances are online on D2L; some of them are "special events," such as visits to museums and plays (which you can make up in other ways online, if you want, or attend in real time on your own.)

You earn X's by completing the D2L (or other special-event) attendance.  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. 

Also note: anyone going 2 weeks with no attendance or homework activity can be dropped from the class. I generally drop people after 2.5-3 wks. of no attendance or sending in of assignments.

  • Make ups: See below.


"Students are expected to attend all sessions of each class in which they are enrolled. If an illness or emergency results in an absence, students should meet with their instructors to determine if missed work can be completed. A student may receive a course grade of FN or NC after two consecutive weeks (or equivalent in accelerated courses/terms) of unexcused absence at any time during the semester. Students who receive and FN grade may request to have their grade changed to a W (withdraw) if done so by the course’s withdrawal deadline.  Class attendance is defined as being physically present in the classroom. Online attendance is defined as having submitted an assignment, taken a quiz, or posted/made a course content-related comment on the discussion/chat board for the course in which the student is registered."

"Subpart A. Last date of attendance: Instructors issue a grade of FN for students who never attend class or stop coming to class. If a student misses two weeks of class (or equivalent in accelerated courses/terms), instructors may report a last date of attendance and issue a grade of FN. The FN grade is punitive because it counts against both GPA and completion rate."

"Subpart B. Academic calendar: PSEO students and students enrolled at other colleges must follow the Inver Hills official academic calendar as it relates to their attendance and registration at Inver Hills. Term breaks, holidays, and non-class days at other institutions and vacations do not supersede the Inver Hills requirements or academic calendar."

Attendance at Museum(s) and Plays

(10-15-15 version--slightly newer than "WklyAsgnmnts." page's version)

Visits to Art Museum(s):

 - Go with me (Richard) to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) for two Thursday nights. There will be 2 docent-led tours (ancient art, and classical Greek and Roman art) on the first evening; on the second evening, there will be 1 docent-led tour (medieval and renaissance art) and 1 self-led tour on your own. That will be a total of 2+ hrs. of tours per evening for two Thursday evenings. (MIA is open six days a week--not Mondays--and only one evening per week--Thursdays.) Cost: free (parking free or $3). To get credit, write 200+ w. per tour (i.e., 400+ w. per two-hour visit). (You'll get credit for tour times, a short break, a short waiting time at the beginning, and for travel time--or roughly 200 min. per visit.) For specific evenings and times, see the beginning of the "Wkly.Asgnmnt." page.
 - Do the above on your own at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts or in any other major general art museum (not a science or technical museum) in a major city near you for two visits.
(MIA is open six days a week--not Mondays--and only one evening per week--Thursdays.) Each of your two visits should take a total of 200 minutes of time: 120 min. of seeing the art, and 80 minutes for travel time, a short break, and any extra writing time. For your first visit, please see (and write about them as you see them) visual and/or sculptural arts from (a) ancient Western times, and from (b) Western classical Greek and Roman times for 120 min. And in your second visit, please see (and write about them as you visit them (c) Western medieval and renaissance art/sculpture for 60 min., and then look at (d) anything you want (from anytime and anywhere) for another 60 min. For every 60 min., write 100+ w. about it (or 200+ w. per two-hour visit), while you're looking at it.
 - Do the above, except do it online. You can visit any of dozens of art museum collections online around the world. Do two visits as outlined above. Break them into 200 min. per visit (and do 2 visits total, or 400+ min.). For each 200 min. visit, go on an online art tour--of online museums--to find and describe art from the Western time periods above. Overall, spend about 200 min. on Western ancient art, and classical Greek and Roman art. And spend another 200 min. on a combination of Western medieval and renaissance art and some time seeing any art you want. Write notes as you do all of this: the notes should be about 100+ w. per every 100 min. Then give me your rough draft notes (no need to retype) by mail, at school, or by email with the amount of time at the top and how much time you devoted to each of the four "parts" named just above. (Count your writing time as part of the time you spend, as well.)

Visits to Two Live, Full-length Plays (or the equivalent):

 - Attend two literary plays at a professional or college theater as described in the beginning of the "Wkly.Asgnmnt." page of this website. Write 400 w. per play during or after each play and give them to me (only rough-draft form is needed, no matter how rough draft it may be) by mail, under my office door, or by email. Write at the top what you saw, where, and for how many minutes (include writing time in your minutes).
 - Attend two literary plays at a professional or college theater on your own, choosing either the plays recommended by me (Richard) or some plays on your own for which you have received permission from me to see. They must be full-length plays. One play must cover our time period (ancient through renaissance times) and geographical area (Western, North African, and Middle Eastern regions). One of the plays may be any high-quality, full-length play at a college or professional theater. You must see both plays during the current semester. (Alternate: If you can find a live musical performance from any of our time periods and geographical places, you are welcome to do that, instead.) Then write 400+ w. per play as described above. Please include something about the actors' names and/or the video productions so I can tell that you didn't just read the material.
Spend 600 minutes watching videos based on literary plays. (If you're not sure whether something is okay, be sure to ask me!) The plays may be any mix of short and full-length that helps you reach your 800 min. of watching and writing time. Include something about the actors' names and/or the video productions so I can tell that you didn't just read the material. Then write a total of 600+ w. about them, or about 100+ w. per hour, as described above.

Other alternative events: See the beginning of the "Wkly.Asgnment." page for a description of other alternative events.


Make Ups and Extra Credit (4-4-04)

You may make up missed attendance by doing extra writing.  No make up is allowed of missed writing assignments.  However, you may complete extra-credit writing for a higher attendance grade to help counterbalance a lower weekly-papers grade (or simply to raise your overall grade).  Here is how make up and extra-credit writing work:

Make Up

Make up is like independent study.  However, I do not consider it quite as valuable a way of spending time as the same amount of time in class, working and discussing things with others.  Therefore, I would like two to three times as much work for independent make-up work as for class time (with the exception of the first two items as noted below).  

            This means that you may make up 1 missed class hour as follows:

  • Do the equivalent of 1 class hr. (70 min.) of tutoring in or through the Writing Center, with both in-person and online tutoring available (see www.inverhills.edu/StudentResources/WritingCenter/index.asp).  Count the time and have a tutor sign a slip saying how much time you spent in actual tutoring. Then I'll give you double the amount of minutes you spent.

  • Do 2 class hrs. (140 min.) of extra Practice Activities (tell me the amount of time spent on both reading and writing, and I'll give you half that much credit; see Homework/Practice Activities).

  • Do 2 class hrs. (140 min.) of combined reading and Comments (200+ w.) (tell me the amount of time spent on both reading and writing, and I'll give you half that much credit; see Homework/Comments) on a directly related reading that is not in Lamm/Fiero (or that we skipped in Lamm/Fiero). 

  • Do 2 class hrs. (140 min.) of being in a play or musical presentation, yourself, along with writing 200+ words of comments, IF THE PLAY OR PRESENTATION IS FROM OUR TIME PERIOD AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS (e.g., a Shakespeare play, a medieval music presentation, etc.). (Tell me the amount of time spent on learning your part, rehearsals, and final productions, and write 200+ w./every 140 min., and I'll give you half the amount of time spent on both the activity and the writing about it. (See below if you are in a play that is NOT from our time period and geographical areas.)


  • Do 3 class hrs. (210 min.) of combined watching of or listening to something directly related, and Comments (300+ w.).  (Tell me the amount of time spent on both reading and writing, and I'll give you one-third that much credit.)  For example, you may watch directly-related videos, plays, movies, and TV shows (see "MOVIES"); listen to music intensively (not while doing something else) from the periods we're covering; play games (see "GAMES"), and/or look at art books; etc.  I'm open to suggestions.  After or during your watching/listening, you also and then summarize/explain/comment on what you've read, seen, or done for 300+ words (as part of your 3 class hrs.).  (For some movies with specific mythological themes for Eng 2235 click here.  Be sure to choose those that cover ancient-renaissance times, not later, and the purpose of watching these myth-themed movies is to get a sense of the myths and culture of a given time period/place.) 

  • Show 3 class hrs. (210 min.) of a related humanities paper/art/craft project and, if its not in written form, write 300+ words about it.  (Tell me the amount of time spent on both reading and writing, and I'll give you one-third that much credit.)  The project must be (1) from a class this semester and (2) from this course's time period and geographical period.

  • Do 4 class hrs. (280 min.) at the Renaissance Festival. Try to find things that seem actually part of medieval or renaissance times. I will give you 1/4th the number of minutes you spend visiting it and writing about it. (Unfortunately this festival is not worth more than 1/4th the number of minutes you spend because many elements of it are not true to actual, historical Middle Age and Renaissance times.)

  • Do 4 class hrs. (280 min.) of being in a play or musical presentation, yourself, along with writing 200+ words of comments if the play is NOT from our time period and geographical areas (e.g., a modern or contemporary play or music presentation, etc.). (Tell me the amount of time spent on learning your part, rehearsals, and final productions, and write 200+ w./every 280 min., and I'll give you 1/4th the amount of time spent on both the activity and the writing about it. (See above if you are in a play that IS from our time period and geographical areas.)

Extra Credit: You may receive extra credit by doing assignments as described immediately above in "Make Ups."  Each 70 min. of credit you receive is, as for make ups, worth 1 "X" (or "V") of attendance (or as given above).  The credit is the same--it applies the same way--whether it is for make up or extra credit. The total X's you earn for extra credit/make up are added to your other X's at the end of the class.

Note: You cannot replace more than 50% of your total X's with extra credit or make up. In other words, you must complete at least 50% of the assignments on time in the regular way before any extra credit/make up is counted.

Participation, Improvement, Revision, etc.

The most important thing you can do in this course is to participate fully.  Participating fully means much more than just attending class and doing the assignments.  It also means actively putting your mind, heart, and guts into learning in this classroom.  It means talking, listening, responding, thinking beyond the text, and being interactive with the instructor and other students.  It means that if you find the assignments easy, you still won't get a good grade unless you learn and participate beyond what you now know.  It also means that if you struggle to do the assignments and have difficulty getting good grades in them, you can still get a good, strong grade in participation just for trying hard, working hard, asking questions, and seeking help.

Everyone begins with a "no change" grade for this part of the grade. That means that after I have figured the rest of your grade (attendance, homework, and term paper), I usually assume you have been participating reasonably well according to the grade you have for the rest of the class.  However, sometimes, when participation, improvement, revision work, et al. are particularly superior or particularly poor, I may raise or lower your overall grade by one letter grade (up or down).  (And in extremely unusual situations I might raise or lower your overall grade by two letters.)  If you are right on the edge between two grades when everything else is averaged, then your quality of participation, improvement, and revision can especially make a big difference in whether you receive the higher or the lower grade.  And if you have an average of a plus grade (e.g., a B+) or a minus grade (e.g., a D-), then your extra participation and improvement - or your special lack of it - can raise or lower your grade to the next grade higher or lower.  If you want to do well for participation and improvement, you'll need to engage in a few of the following behaviors.  If you want to receive an A, you'll need to engage in at least some of these behaviors in some way:  

  1. Participate very verbally by talking in the D2L online attendance discussions, in class trips, and/or in seeking me out for questions and help by email, in my office, or by calling or Skyping me.  

  2. Get 1 hr. or more of tutoring help from tutors or me when you are revising and editing your Final Homework Analysis Paper (more time counts for more credit).

  3. Show significant extra effort on assignments--by extra length of writing or, clear for me to see, extra time.

  4. Attend the individual consultations between you and me that are planned as part of this course, or otherwise get help from me when you need it in my office.  

  5. Demonstrate significant attention to and good attitude about learning--not just to me but also to others in our class.  

  6. Be not just respectful, but also helpful and CREATIVE in D2L discussions--i.e., don't just write the minimum and say what you think I want to hear; rather come up with unique ideas and approaches, thoughts and feelings, or reflections that are different in some way than the usual. D2L can be as interesting or as boring as you decide to make it.

Can your participation grade go lower? Yes. You can do the following to keep it low or push it lower:

  • keep quiet in class/on the bulletin boards (offer few, poor, or overly short or overly simple answers and responses), 

  • avoid me, 

  • avoid tutoring assistance, 

  • avoid individual consultations, 

  • be negative or cynical about learning or about other students, and/or

  • leave work unfinished, incomplete, or unsubstantial. 

I enjoy teaching, and I want everyone to enjoy their learning.  If you are having some kind of significant problem, I hope you will come talk to me about it so that together we can seek a possible resolution.  All information I learn about you in this regard is not (and cannot be) reported to other teachers without your permission, and I would never tell other students something in any way that would identify you personally. I've had students tell me quite a bit over the years about a wide variety of their sorrows, problems, and many other things, and my policy is to keep everything I hear to myself, even if minor laws have been broken or past mental or physical health was compromised.  I only reserve the right to seek help from a counselor or dean if I am strongly concerned about your future health and safety or that of others around you, or if I believe that a major legal problem may exist (e.g., you hurt someone badly).  If you are worried about what I do or do not keep to myself, you can always ask me more about this before speaking to me about your problems.  I do hope you will feel free to talk with me about problems that keep you from learning.

Estimating Your Participation          

You may find the list for determining how well or poorly you are participating and improving by clicking here on 

"Grading/What is my grade?/Participation"


Talking as an Academic Community

Required reading: Developing an academic community--and maintaining a positive, balanced, objective tone in class, emails, bulletin boards, and other communication--is very important.  To see more details about this, please go to "Talking as an Academic Community."


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Useful Tips for
Taking This Course


Attending is a Big Part of Class: I  know that this is an online class and there seems to be little or no "attendance."  But while we may not meet in a physical classroom much, there is still just as much attendance.  Much of it is done in the form of bulletin board discussions.  Attendance is 40% of your grade, so be sure to attend regularly!  It's an easy 40% if you just attend..

Going on Field Trips: The field trips are a wonderful and enormous learning experience.  We have some of the very finest regional theaters in the nation and one of this country's best art museums.  It is truly can be a moving and important experience to go to them.  We will have a trained guide at the museum, and we will see two plays, at least one play at the world-famous Guthrie Theater.


Ariel 9 pt, 6, 6, 133%

Updated July 2017



Contents and page design: Copyright (©) 2005-2017 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL: www.richard.jewell.net
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136, Inver Hills CC