Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, April 17, 2015


If any of you have ideas for how to improve future renditions of our course, the format, etc., please pass those along.

One thing I think we've learned this semester, about our course format: it really is crucial that everyone keep a detailed daily log to document all scoring, and that we appoint a daily scorekeeper to monitor those logs. We were going to do that, I'm not sure why we didn't. Maybe we need to appoint a "commissioner" to do it, rather than rotate that admittedly-uncomfortable task. Maybe I just need to be the commissioner. We really shouldn't end up with such an incommensurable disparity in numbers between groups. (And rest assured, I'll adjust it when reporting grades.)

Another possible change: a runs-cap of (say) 5 per player, per class.

Any thoughts? 


  1. I think the cap sounds like a cool idea. I kinda felt like tehre's only so much you can do per class period such writing the questions on board, posting a link, posting FQs and DQs before class starts. I say it is plausible to put a limit on what you can do a day per class. If someone gets the points for that day, that sounds good. It shows how active he/she was in class. I actually like the first idea you had in mind better. Having you as the commissioner and every class each student write down on a sheet of paper what they got runs for and just by memory of hwat you saw them do in class and see what they post you can count them to see if it makes sense. If it doesnt, then don't give them the points

    1. Looking for the right balance between accountability and self-direction... I know it's uncomfortable to ask classmates to account for themselves, and how they "got their runs" but if I'm the commish it'll feel (to me, anyway) like grade school. Plus, if we really rotated that task everybody would have to learn the rules and how to correctly apply them. But... you might be right. Thanks for the input, Kiara. And thanks for all your hard work, all semester!

  2. I think the run cap is a good idea. It would require students to be more consistent with their posts throughout the semester instead of piling them up all at once.

  3. I think the run cap is a good idea. It would require students to be more consistent with their posts throughout the semester instead of piling them up all at once.

  4. I think a run cap is a great idea, if anything to prevent those students who are relatively quiet for the majority of the semester and then "bomb" the site with posts for a couple of days to rack up runs. I feel like this "inflates" their score which doesn't really give a good indication of their overall contribution throughout the semester.

  5. I didn't see Ramsey's comment, but I essentially just repeated what he said.

  6. I also think the class might benefit from a more "defined" run total:grade rubric to give them a better idea of their current standing in the class, and reduce some of the subjectivity involved in assigning grades. I think something simple would work, like a "threshold" to receive an A that could easily be defined (maybe taking a set value of runs "per class" and multiplying that by the # of classes in the semester).

  7. Thanks for the feedback, it's helpful. The cap is definitely going on next time, to block "bombing" AND to save overachievers from the exhaustion of their own excesses. An informal "threshold" (not a guarantee but a presumption) is already in place: scoring at least one run in every inning sets you up for an A, assuming a strong final report.

    As for the subjectivity of grading: I've come to terms with it. (See the quote at the bottom, on the gut-check as final arbiter.) In the humanities at least, it's dishonest to pretend total objectivity. So, refining the "scorecard" to correct for as much of that as possible, is crucial.

    Thanks for helping me get the bugs out of the system. With each semester's collaboration, the system gets refined a bit more. It'll never be Platonically perfect, but with a little help from my friends I'll keep reaching for the stars. :)