In-Class Work and Quizzes


Due date: ongoing

This course relies on active, engaged participation in class activities and discussions. There will be few lectures. You should come to every class having read all of the required texts (or watched the required videos, &c. &c.) and prepared to discuss them with your colleagues. I plan to assess your reading and course engagement through writing exercises, reading quizzes, and group work.

Reading quizzes

Reading quizzes are intended to reward careful reading, not to test your comprehension of obscure facts from our texts. If you read the assigned texts attentively—if you read the assigned texts attentively—you should do well on the quizzes. Each quiz will have six questions; if you correctly answer five of them you will receive full credit.

In-class writing

You should have a notebook for your in-class writing: either a physical notebook or a single document file. I will collect your notebooks periodically through the semester. Your entries will be graded on a five-point scale. I do not expect your responses to in-class writing exercises to reflect the same polish as blog entries or papers. I do expect your writing exercises to reflect real thought about our course topics and readings. Entries will receive full credit if:

  1. They refer to specific aspects of our assigned reading. The more specific you can be, the better. For instance, if you can quote or paraphrase from a course text to illustrate the point you hope to make, you should do so.
  2. They draw connections between the day’s assigned reading and the broader themes of the course, recent topics of class discussion, or your personal research.
  3. They demonstrate depth of thought about the topics on hand.

Individual and Group Work

In addition to discussion of course texts, our classes will frequently ask you to complete small projects and exercises that will help you apply course concepts, learn new software, and contextualize course materials. For group exercises, I will ask each group member to assume a specific task related to the project; I expect each group member to contribute in significant ways to their team’s effort.