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Eng. 1140

 

Attendance & Extra Credit
 

Basics of Overall Grading

(Note: Parts of this "Basics of Overall Grading" section also appears at the beginning of the "Weekly Paper" web page, in the "Grading" 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 46 X's (very roughly, depending on the semester) are for weekly homework papers.

  • About 9 X's are for the final paper, as part of your homework.

  • About 25 X's (very roughly, depending on the semester) are for D2L 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 do you tell how many X's you've earned?

Basically, you need almost all X's for an "A." And if you have 3/4ths X's and 1/4th 0's, you would earn a "C." There are three ways to count 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-HARD 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."
    (E.g., 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, at the time, 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, at the time, 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, and the X's you expect to get, and 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

How is attendance, in particular, established?

Attendance is done mostly by your attendance on the D2L discussion boards. There also are several times when you will, either online or in physical meetings (your choice), attend such events as a first-week meeting, plays/museum visits, and an end of semester individual consultation.

Remember that attendance is NOT homework. Homework is what you email to me. Attendance, most of the time, means going on the D2L discussion boards and interacting with others in the class by giving them messages--or it is attending plays and other meetings in real time or in online time. 

Anyone going 2+ weeks with no attendance activity will be dropped from the class.

Make ups and Extra Credit: See below.

Here is a brief summary of the types of attendance activities:
   

Summary of Types of Attendance

  • Online D2L Discussion Boards: This accounts for most of the attendance. In most weeks, there will be about two online, D2L class activities per week--on two different discussion boards.

  • 2 "event" meetings with me (Richard). The first is an in-person class meeting in a computer lab the first week of class (or you can, instead, email me a summary of the course website). The second is an individual consultation with me for 15 minutes--at school or a coffeehouse, by phone, or by Skype.

  • 3 "event" visits--online or in person--to plays and an art museum. You can do these online, by video, in person in whatever city you are in. Or you can come to the arranged, in-person visits to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (on a Th. night) that I (Richard) will coordinate, a play at a professional theater in the Twin Cities that we will attend as a group (a Thurs., Fri., Sat., or Sun.), and a play at Inver Hills College (or elsewhere if IHCC does not have a spring play) that you will attend on your own.  

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Attendance at Museum(s) and Plays

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


Visit to Art Museum: (This event will be worth 3 X's.)
  

 - Option A: For 200+ min., go on a "literary-art" tour of online museums to find and describe stories in art--what stories might you know or can quickly look up (w/Google) that are based on several works of art pieces, and/or how do the works of art reflect the stories and/or improve your understanding or appreciation of it? While you are examining the art, w
rite 400+ w. about it as if you were writing several "BA's" or Basic Analyses—about the plot elements (plot/tension/problem/solution), characters, settings, symbols, themes, et al.—that you see in the works of art. You should write these while you are looking at the works (and count your time of 200+ min. to include the writing time, as well). Do at least four or five works of art, or more, and you should spend just as much time, or more, in looking/examining visually as in writing.
 - OR Option B: Do the above in a major live art museum in the city nearest you on your own for 200+ min. (including travel time to and from). While you are examining the art, write 400+ w. about it as if you were writing several "BA's" or Basic Analyses—about the plot elements (plot/tension/problem/solution), characters, settings, symbols, themes, et al.—that you see in the works of art. You should write these while you are looking at the works (and count your time of 200+ min. to include the writing time, as well). Do at least four or five works of art, or more, and you should spend just as much time, or more, in looking/examining visually as in writing. When you send me your 400+ w., also tell me whether you went alone or on the official docent tour scheduled for the class.
 - OR Option C: Take a free group visit with me to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on a Thurs. evening as stated above, 6:30-9 pm. Directions that you should print out (even if you have GPS--there are freeways, one-way streets, and rush hour traffic!) are on this website at MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Arts) .
        Please show up in the lobby (by the main desk) of the museum by 6:15 pm and look for me, Richard. The first tour will start at about 6:30.
        We will meet again after the first tour, and before the second tour. You'll get directions for the second tour, an independent one, when we meet between the two tours. At the end of the second tour, we'll meet once more.
        Bring a few people with you, if you'd like--family or friends. Entrance is free. But parking will cost $5 in the MIA parking ramp just to the south of the museum (unless you choose to park on the street--street parking is safe day and evening).
        As you write during (or after) the two tours, you should write 400+ w. about it as if you were writing several "BA's" or Basic Analyses—about the plot elements (plot/tension/problem/solution), characters, settings, symbols, themes, et al.—that you see in the works of art. You should write these while you are looking at the works (and count your time of 200+ min. to include the writing time, as well). Do at least four or five works of art, or more, and you should spend just as much time, or more, in looking/examining visually as in writing. You can give me your 400+ w. at the end of the museum trip, or you can send it to me later, but if you give it to me later, please also tell me whether you went alone or on this official docent. 

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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).
OR
 - 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. You must see both plays during the current semester (or in the break time before the semester). Please include something about the actors' names and/or the video productions so I can tell that you didn't just read the material. Write 400+ w. per play as above.
OR
 - 
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 600 min. of watching and writing time. When you're writing about them, please include something about the actors' names and/or the video productions so I can tell that you didn't just read the material. Write a total of 800+ w. about them, total. This writing time can be included in the 600+ minutes of required time. (Why do I ask for so much time watching them? It is because the typical amount of time for going to see a live play, including travel time, getting there early, intermission time, and writing time is about 400+ min. per play. In addition, it should be noted that seeing a video of a play is not nearly as much of a literary experience as actually being there when it is staged, which what plays are written for. The difference is similar to reading a poem on your own vs. hearing a poetry expert read it out loud.)

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Inver Hills Attendance Policy and Disability Services

 
The IHCC Attendance Policy says, as of 2012:

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 an 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.

IHCC Disability Services Accommodations: The IHCC Disability Services Office says, "It is the policy and practice of Inver Hills Community College to create inclusive learning environments, and provide students with disabilities reasonable accommodations so they have equal access to participate in educational programs, activities, and services. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion, please notify your instructor as soon as possible. For further support, and to arrange specific reasonable accommodations, students are encouraged to contact Kayla Swenson, Disability Services Coordinator/Academic Advisor, 651-450-3508, KSwenso@inverhills.mnscu.edu, Office--College Center 211."

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Extra Credit and Make Ups (Mar. 13, 2017)

  
If you are past the final due date for either attendance or homework, you may, instead, make them up using extra credit. When you complete make-ups, you are awarded X's as extra credit.  Each X = 100 min. of time spent. You also may earn extra credit anytime you want by completing extra work: each 100 min. = 1 X. 

Note: 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.

What Books Should You Choose?

Any book--and any author--that is already listed for this course is okay. You also are welcome to read just a chapter or two and then switch: you do not have to finish a whole book to be able to get extra credit for it.

For other authors/books, try Googling any of the following lists of authors/books. When you Google them, use just the words in the quotation marks, and do include the quotation marks, too. (If using the quotation marks doesn't work, then delete the quotation marks and try again.)

  • “Nobel Prize Winners” (World Wide—anything by any of these authors is okay)

  • “Pulitzer Prize Winners” (American—anything by any of these authors is okay)

  • “Booker Prize Winners” (British—anything by any of these authors is okay)

  • “Great English Literature” or "Best British Literature"

  • “Great American Literature” or "Best American Literature"

  • "Great World Literature in English language"

  • "Best Literature of _[name a country or state]_"

  • “Newbery Medal Winners” (children’s literature)

  • “Caldecott Medal Winners” (children’s literature)

  • “Minnesota Book Award Winners” (Minnesota authors—types of books vary widely)

You also may ask me, if you have any particular novels in mind.

I’d like about 200+ words of writing per every 30 pages or so of reading. However, for young children’s literature, I’d like 200+ words for an entire short book, if it is a picture book with more space devoted to pictures than to sentences. (But it must have sentences.)
 

How To Claim Extra Credit

Always let me know when you are turning in extra credit/make up work: mark it at the top and in the "Subject" line of the email. Remember to tell me the source and how many minutes you spent in both reading and writing. You will get credit on the "Attendance" record--in the "Extra Credit" section, for the number of minutes you worked. (Also remember that at least half of your X's for the course must come from the regular homework assignments and attendance for the course.)

Methods of Getting Extra Credit:
 

     Double Extra Credit (double the minutes you spend working):

  • Present at the annual IHCC Student-Faculty Research Conference on a literary subject for 10+ min. All prep time counts--including any extra writing, reading, and research time you spend beyond the Eng 1140 requirements--as well as your actual presentation time. Presentation must be on something to do with literature. Write about the experience for 200+ w. per 1-2 hrs. of time spent prepping and presenting.

     Single Extra Credit (same number of minutes you spend working):

  • Get help about the course and writing the papers for it at the Writing Center. Have a tutor send me an email stating how long you were there. 

  • Write late homework assignments or D2L attendance. Let me know how much time you spent writing (and reading, too, if that was part of it).

  • Read high-quality literature and write 200+ w. per 30 pp. (or per 10 poems) about it. Let me know how much time you spent reading and writing. If you have any doubts about what qualifies as "high-quality literature," ask me.

  • Attend a live literary play (which means almost anything at college or professional theaters; however, get my permission, first, if it's a high school production). Write 200+ w. per hour of the actual play time; then tell me how much time you spent watching, writing, and traveling (up to 60 min.) to and from the theater, parking, etc.

  • Read teaching/learning resources (web or print) about literary authors. Write 200+ w. per 10 pp. or 10 regular computer screens of info.

  • Read other teaching/learning resources (web or print) that describe how to read literature or write about it. Write 200+ w. per 10 pp. or 10 regular computer screens of info. Let me know how much time you spent reading and writing.

  • Attend literary presentations in person at the annual IHCC Student-Faculty Research Conference. Note: presentations you attend for extra credit must be about literature in some way. Write 200+ w. per hour of attending.

     Half (50%) Extra Credit (half as many minutes as you spend working):

  • See a literary video (1/2 credit only). A literary video is, in this class, a video based fairly closely on a recognized work of literature. For example, any Shakespeare video or ancient Greek play in video form would be worth 1/2 credit. Write 200+ w. per hour of viewing, and let me know how much time you spent in watching and writing--and I'll give you 1/2 credit (For example, if you watch and write for 2 hrs., you'd get credit for 1 hr.).
            What else does qualify as a literary video? If it comes from a clearly literary reading and follows it closely, then it can count. For example, you can count movies that closely follow the literary books Beowulf, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter/Hogwarts award-winning books. So can high quality children's literature in a high quality video that closely follows the book, such as Cat in the Hat or Horton Hears a Who. All of these are worth 1/2 credit.
            What does not qualify? Two relatively recent examples are two highly dramatized movies that do not closely follow a highly literary book: 300, and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Another example is Ghandi--while Ghandi might be an excellent movie, it is not based on a highly literary book. Thus none of these movies are worth any extra credit.
            If in doubt, Google the video to see if there is a corresponding work of literature it is made from. Then email me, tell me what you found out, and ask me if it qualifies for 1/2 extra credit.

     One-fourth (25%) Extra Credit (1/4th as many min. as you spend working):

  • Be in a play (1/4th credit only). Write 50+ w. per hour that you are involved. You may count individual practice, rehearsals, actual productions, and writing time. Then let me know how much time you spent in all these, and I'll give you 1/4th credit. (For example, if you spend 40 hrs., total, I'll give you ten hours of credit.
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Participation and Improvement

For very poor participation/improvement, you might have up to one letter grade deducted from your final grade for the course. For excellent to superior participation/improvement, you may have your letter grade at the end of the course raised slightly, especially if it is one to three points below the level for the next higher grade. 

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, your positive attitude and hard work might make a difference in grading. 
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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."

 

Return to top.
    

     

"What's on this page?"

Scroll down or click here:

Basics of Attendance

Museum/Play Attendance

IHCC Attendance Policy

Extra Credit/Make Ups

Participation

Talking as an Academic Community 

 

       

 Updated March 13, 2018

1st Ed., 27 Dec. 2009
2nd Ed., 1 Oct. 2014

www.richardjewell.org
Contact: Richard Jewell

Text and images are copyrighted by Richard Jewell (unless otherwise noted) and may be used for nonprofit academic purposes with no permission required. This website is for a course at Inver Hills Community College, a two-year college with full national Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation. (Some four-year degrees also are offered on-campus in collaborations with HLC-accredited four-year colleges.) Inver Hills College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnState), one of the two largest such U.S. college and university systems..