Posts Tagged ‘talking to myself’

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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