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Posts Tagged ‘adversarial’

Game over: the kill screen.

When an adversarial is conducted entirely or primarily—or even partially—in class, it is virtually impossible to fail.  In most cases, a student would need to sleep through every lesson, cut every class, or set fire to someone else before he or she would earn less than a 60.  Even then, it would likely require students in the room to augment their work so vigorously that the scoring scale was broken: one student earning 150+ points to the derelict individual’s none.  An adversarial is the one assignment in Media Studies for which doing nothing does not result in a zero.

The reason a total lack of input or effort is treated with such forgiveness is this: By being in the room, a derelict student has likely picked up something from the collaborative learning that surrounded him or her.  As part of the environment, even when he or she is indistinguishable from a desk or chair or large rock, the student is given the benefit of the doubt.

When an adversarial is conducted entirely online, there is no way to say with any certainty that every student read every comment, or that every student read any comment, or even that every student read the original post.  Learning is demonstrated solely through participation.

Here are your scores for the adversarial conducted entirely online from May 9 to May 13:

Note: 1 = the points you earned for contributions to the discussion; 2 = the curved grade, from A to F, that you were given; and 3 = the final score that goes into your average.

You had the opportunity to request an extension, if the five days of uninterrupted access to computers in class was not enough; nevertheless, three of you posted zero comments, and about half of you posted no more than a paragraph or two of content.  I wish I could tell you that I heard enough in the classroom itself to forgive this, but I did not.  I listened intently to the conversations that spilled over into our 39-minute periods, and I heard only

  1. exhaustive consideration of the prom, “assassins,” and other senior-year activities;
  2. a spirited discussion of sports that never returned to the germane origin of that analogy; and
  3. random thoughts on subjects as unrelated to our course as next year’s living arrangements, your other classes, and the SEE project.

For those students who managed to leave comments, there was certainly room to work harder; few of you brought the discussion back to the texts or the ideas raised in the texts.  You spoke eloquently in some cases, but you sometimes substituted personal experience and partially-baked philosophy for the requirements of the prompt itself.  My question, asked not rhetorically but in actual confusion, is this: What did the rest of you do for five days in class?  If I ask the Tech Department to pull records of what you did online from 9:20 through 10:00 this week, what will I find?

Of course, some of you worked hard, and your scores reflect that.  If I gave the rest of you the grades you deserve, some of you seniors would find yourselves failing Q4.  You would have earned this.  Instead, I will give you, as a gift, a relative curve.  You have not earned this.  Those of you who did nothing now have a 40, not a zero.  The rest of you are curved so substantially by this that no one, not even the student who earned 9 points over five days, ends up with less than an 80 overall.

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Brief background: Summer Heights High

Before you continue our class discussion in the comments section below, you may want to visit this link, which is the YouTube channel dedicated to Summer Heights High.  Remember that you may encounter language and ideas that offend you, so play it safe.

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Brief background: The Bachelor

To continue our discussion, you’ll need to comment on your notes; focus on the concepts of Frankenbyting, stock stereotypes, and any constructive meaning to the show.  Also include some discussion of the rather excellent example of tone and control cut together by the group.

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Brief background: Laguna Beach

And here is a copy of my version of the archetypal hero’s journey, or monomyth (click for the full-sized version):

Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

Monomyth Key

Continue the class discussion on heroes, hero worship, and the archetypal journey in the comments section below.  (On a side note, I think this show, or at least its spin-off, eventually did produce a real Creature of the Nightmare.)

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Brief overview: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Continue the discussion from class in the comments section.  You might wish to focus on the final contrast the group raised, between

  1. Jon Stewart’s use of parody as a prime component in satire; and
  2. the moments when that tone slips into frank seriousness.

The second one is somewhat disconcerting, but that is part of the point, I imagine; to watch a comic suddenly and vociferously attack another human being is jarring, and it draws a different kind of attention to the subject.  (You can watch a clip of that Crossfire appearance here.  And I would encourage you to read the speech Stewart delivered at the Rally to Restore Sanity.)

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A note on adversarial augmentations:  Revisit the original assignment, and develop these discussions accordingly.

Brief background: Friends

Here are the relationship charts presented in class:

Chart #1

Chart #2

Chart #3

Chart #4

Brief background: Entourage

Continue the discussion from class in the comments section.

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Grades have been entered this morning for two assignments: the comparative analysis paper handed in on 1/3 and the adversarial discussion completed online and in class between 1/3 and 1/10.  Use the Student Portal to see your scores.  You will not receive direct commentary on either assignment; instead, you should read the general feedback below and follow those instructions.

First, the adversarial: As always, you received points for insight, collegiality, and participation.  Because some of you failed to use the time provided in class to leave any comments, I will not scan and post the adversarial tallies; instead, I will simply list how points were earned:

  • Comment: +1
  • Length and/or insight of comment: +1/+2
  • Specific references to content: +1
  • Collaboration/collegiality: +1

Again, this is nothing new, and we will continue to use the adversarial format for Q3 and Q4.  If you are not participating effectively (or at all) in these discussions in class and online, you should speak to me to see what can be done to facilitate your involvement.

Second, the comparative analysis: Considering the amount of time and discussion devoted to your responses in and out of class, these were quite the mixed bag.  Some of you wrote thoughtful and considered essays; some of you did not.  If you would like the commentary for your paper, which I have kept separate, you must request that feedback in an email.  If you write me and ask for your score to be explicated, I will reply with that information.  Otherwise, we are moving on.

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