This page describes the overall grading
policies and methods. If you'd like to get a relatively easy A" in
this course, then do all (or almost all) the attendance and weekly
homework assignments, and at least a "C" on your term paper.
The Basics of
Grading for the Semester
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:
(or points): weekly homework papers
(or more): attendance and/or extra credit
final paper (up to 20) (A final paper is required to pass the class.)
Participation, attitude, attention, hard work--can slightly lower or raise
final letter grade
earn X's by completing the work. 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. 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 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, you can determine your grade by how many X's you earn. 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 is the first year in which I
have started using this system in online classes. However, I have used
this X's system of grading for three years 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.
If you want to figure out your current grade level or grade average in the
course at any given time, use this formula:
Count your total X’s
and 0’s. Count all X's and 0's in the attendance records and
papers records. If you have extra credit, also add it to the total of X's:
count it as one X for every 70 min.
"F" average in the class
anytime: You have about half X's and half 0's.
(For example, if you have 10 X's and 10 0's, or 30 X's and 30 0's, that
would be an "F" average.)
"D" average in the class:
You have about two X's for every one 0.
(For example, if you have 20 X's and 10 0's, or 40 X's and 20 0's, that
would be a "D" average.)
“C” average in the class:
You have about three times as many X’s as 0’s.
(For example, 30 X’s and 10 0’s, or 60 X’s and 20 0’s, would be about a "C"
“B” average in the class:
You have at least four times as many X’s as 0’s.
(For example, 40 X’s and 10 0’s, or 60 X’s and 15 0’s, would be a "B"
"A" average would mean
having at least 9 X's for every 0, or
(WEEKLY PAPERS) GRADE, 45 X's
This portion of your grade will be determined by how many of your weekly,
rough-draft, non-graded assignments you turn in. Most assignments are worth
one X, a few of them two X's. The most you can get is 45 X's. You
cannot be more than one week late with homework assignments (and Drafts I and II
of your term paper cannot be late at all). The X's you earn will be added
to the total X's you earn for the semester.
FINAL PROJECT GRADE,
grading of the term project/paper is by letter grade. You MUST turn in a
final paper that follows a preponderance (majority) of the requirements in order
to pass this course. If you do not do this, then you receive an "F" for
the course, no matter how many points you may otherwise have. I translate
your letter grade into X's or points as follows:
A = 19 X's
A- = 18 X's
B+ = 16 X's
B = 15 X's
B- = 14 X's
C+ = 12 X's
C = 11 X's
C- = 10 X's
D+ = 9 X's
D = 8 X's
D- = 7 X's
F+ = 6 X's
F = 5 X's
F- = 4 X's
FF = No Paper Turned In = 0 X's and an F on the final overall grade.
For more details about the final paper, see "Final
Attendance in is very important.
Why? Some people think that taking an online course means there is no
attendance. However, there is supposed to be either attendance or more
work to replace it, so really, no time is saved in taking an online course
(except for commuting time). In this class, just as much attendance is
expected of you as if you were taking the class on campus. However, the
majority of attendance for this class (or all of it, if necessary) is online
in bulletin boards (discussion boards) and sometimes in other online
activities. There are about 35 attendance X's to earn - or more if
you want extra credit X's. Each attendance activity "X" (or "V") is
designed to be about the equivalent of 70 minutes long. Some of you will
be able to do some attendances in much less time; others of you - especially
if you take more time than most to write or read, or if you like to write or
read at a leisurely, careful, or meditative pace - will need to spend more
(Please note: it is okay - sometimes even good
and wise - to learn to write and read faster, especially in a course like this
that requires large amounts of both reading and writing. Generally, when
people read faster - without skipping sentences - they tend to actually
remember the contents better. And when people write faster, at least in
rough-draft writing - as for most of the weekly papers - they tend to get more
interesting and varied ideas out. So please, seriously consider learning
to read and write faster in this class.)
THE REVISION, PARTICIPATION,
IMPROVEMENT, ETC. GRADE
of the grade generally is based on the average of what you have done for
attendance, weekly papers, and the term paper. If your grade is on the
line, it could go down or up because of your participation, amount and quality
of your revision on the term paper, and your hard work. In general, the
best thing you can do to assure yourself a good standing in this part of the
class activities is, simply, to get a good grade on everything else.
Beyond that, here are some other ways to establish a better standing in this
part of the class activities:
(a) Participate very verbally by
"talking" actively in the bulletin-board classes, sharing your ideas,
responding to others, and asking questions. It also helps to ask
questions at the museum visit and to ask me questions after you've already
checked the FAQs pages and still don't know something.
(b) get 1/2 hr. or more of tutoring
help from IHCC Writing Center tutors, Smarthinking online tutors, me, or
someone else qualified in tutoring writing
when you are revising and editing your final project paper,
(c) show significant extra effort on assignments--by
extra length of writing or, clear for me to see, extra time,
Attend the individual consultation in person or by phone
between you and me that is planned as part of this course, or otherwise get
help from me when you need it, and
Show respect, kindness, and care for the opinions and feelings of others
on the bulletin boards, and
(e) demonstrate significant attention to
- and good attitude about - learning, to both me and everyone else in our class.
this part of your grade go lower? You can keep quiet; in the bulletin boards,
offer few, poor, or overly short or overly simple answers and responses; avoid
me, individual tutoring assistance, and the individual consultation; be negative
or cynical about learning to other students; leave work unfinished; have poor
attendance; resist doing much of anything to revise your final term project;
and, especially, earn very low points (X's) on attendance, weekly papers, and
your final term project.
majority of students who take this course demonstrate good to excellent
behavior, the all of those who finish the course also work hard. I look
forward to great behavior and hard work from each of you.
MAKEUP WORK AND EXTRA CREDIT
make up missed attendance by doing extra writing. Weekly papers cannot
be turned in more than one week late (and Drafts I and II of the term paper
cannot be late at all.) After weekly papers are late, you cannot make
them up. (However, you may still read and write
about them, state how long this took, and receive extra credit for the time
you spent.) You also may do a number of extra-credit assignments,
write about them, and earn extra credit at the rate of one X per 70 min. To see how makeup and extra-credit work, please
go to "Attendance/Make
and Extra Credit."
"Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy"
NOTE--New Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy: As of summer
2007, all Inver Hills students must maintain a
67% completion rate for all credits
attempted. This is in addition to the existing requirement that students earn
a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or above. You can drop a class in the
first week, and this does not affect your completion rate. However, if
you withdraw after that, fail to finish the course, or take an "I"
(Incomplete), this will affect your completion rate and also may affect your
eligibility for financial assistance. See
for the complete policy.
How to Estimate Your Grade
FIRST HALF OF SEMESTER (Wks. 1-10):
In Weeks 1-10, about 50 X’s are
possible (or more with extra credit). Count your X’s for Weeks 1-10—attendance,
weekly homework, and extra credit (on attendance sheet), and then determine what
grade you have so far:
50+ X’s/points = A+
45-49 = A
40-44 = B
35-39 = C
30-34 = D (You’ll need to start working much harder to pull off a “C”
25-29 = F (You’re in very bad shape. Start working a LOT harder,
or, if it's not yet past Wk. 14, take a “W.”)
20-24 = F- (You probably can’t catch up. You probably should take a
“W” before they stop giving them at the end of Wk. 14.)
0-19 = FF (You’re so far behind you can’t catch up. Take a “W” before they
stop giving them at the end of Wk. 14.)
your X’s that you have, and also what you expect to get—attendance, weekly
homework, graded paper, and extra credit (on attendance sheet), and then
determine what grade you expect to get.
(To estimate your term paper grade, give yourself 19 X’s/points for an “A,” 15
for a “B,” and 11 for a “C.” As “Grading” in our website says, “You MUST turn
in a final paper that follows a preponderance (majority) of the requirements
in order to pass this course. If you do not do this, then you receive an "F"
for the course, no matter how many points you may otherwise have.” That means
at least a C-.) If you turn no paper in at all, give yourself 0 X’s/points.)
WEEKS 1-17 TOTALS:
100+ X’s/points = A+
90-99 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D (You’ll need to start working much harder to pull off a “C”
50-59 = F (You’re in very bad shape. Start working a LOT harder.)
40-49 = F- (You probably can’t catch up.
Work quadruple hard if you want a passing grade.)
0-39 = FF (You’re so far behind you can’t catch up.)
me if you are having trouble figuring out how to do this: send me your X's
(points) totals and ask me questions about what you don't understand.
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