Grading by contract, English 111

This semester,  I want to release both you and me from grade pressure so that you can focus on mastery of subject matter and improvement of writing skills, and so that I can have a more rewarding teaching experience.  Therefore, I won't assign a quantifying, scaled letter grade or an unscientifically arrived at number to your class projects or papers.  Instead, evaluation of your work will focus on mastery of academic writing skills and completion of course objectives.  Separately, I have posted an outline of the course objectives, which was developed from the VCCS English 111 course description and the TNCC English 111 "Course of Study" document.  

I have designed the ten projects that you will complete this semester in such fashion that you will demonstrate mastery of each stated course objective at least three times. Your points for demonstrating mastery of objectives will accumulate as follows: You will earn 3 points for a project or a paper if it meets content objectives and is very well edited upon the first submission, at or before deadline. If a project (such as a short-answer analysis of readings) does not show mastery of the specified skills or objectives on the first attempt or is not well edited, it will receive no grade; however, you may rework it and turn it in within a calendar week. If a paper does not receive 3 points on the first attempt, it will receive no grade; however, it will be revised for re-evaluation and resubmitted as hard copy or posted in your web folio within a calendar week. When projects or papers are resubmitted (or posted with revisions) following my first graded evaluation and feedback, you will turn in the original marked copy of the assignment and my marked evaluation sheet. (Sample evaluation form.) When I re-evaluate any work, I am looking for the corrections or changes that you made to the previous draft or submission. If the assignments are successful on the second try, they will recieve a grade of 2 points. If they are not successful after the second submission, you will receive 1 point for attempting the assignment. No credit will be recorded for an assignment that is not turned in or that misses deadline.

Clarification on "Points": I will evaluate the work based on content, mastery of skills, and satisfactory editing.  An award of 3 points will indicate that your project or paper successfully fulfills the assignment on the first attempt. The accompanying evaluation form and my margin notes will explain why an assiginment is not successful on the first attempt, and you will then have the opportunity to revise it. (Sample evaluation form.) If it is successful on the second attempt (following revision and corrections), the assignment will earn a grade of 2 points. You will not earn 3 points on any revision or resubmission of a paper or project. Three points is an award for excellence: for diligence, for work completed in a superior manner without my direct intervention after the submission deadline. Two points is an award for successfully following my instructions after I have formally evaluated your paper or project. If you wish to attain 3 points on a paper or project and are not certain if it measures up, I will happily go over it with you individually prior to the deadline if you make arrangements to meet with me outside of class. Work submitted at deadline is taken as is and evaluated as is.

In order to earn a final course grade of A, you will acumulate at least 27 points. For a B you will acumulate at least 24 points.  To earn a C for the semester, you will acumulate at least 20 points. For a passing grade you will accumulate at least16 points on the ten projects or papers. Two one-point extra credit projects are available to anyone who has attended diligently.

This is a list of projects and papers for the term:


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