Mr. Eure | Brewster High School
Feedback: RA01 + Q2AD2
January 2, 2013Posted by on
Note #1: You will be given the second leg of your prompt-building exercise in class, so that you can focus your online/at-home attention on scores and feedback.
Note #2: Feedback for YVA02 and YVA03 will be given in a separate post.
Note #3: I’m using the abbreviations from the gradebook (RA01, Q3AD2, YVA02, and YVA03) as shorthand for particular assignments. I’ll use the real names, too, when we get to the commentary.
RA01: Rhetorical Analysis: King’s “Horror Movies”
This assignment is two months old now, and it’s been held in abeyance for a few reasons. Chief among them is your failure to use the approach discussed and linked to here. At this point, we’ve tipped over into perseveration, and we need a clear runway more than we need accurate scores. Since the floating standard is a subject of much study later in the year, I’ve just given you all a completion grade for finishing the essay. I’ll hold on to the actual writing for a little while longer, because I want to cling to the quixotic dream. As always, if you want to meet with me about this writing specifically, you should. It might go without saying that most of you will be content with the little rush of dopamine the completion score provides.
Q3AD2: Q2 Adversarial #2
This ran online from 12/10 until the holiday break. You’ll remember that we took a few class periods to examine and extend the discussion, using a modified fishbowl format to reflect and refine your approaches. You were also given, before we began, an annotated guide to the previous two discussions to guide your quest for more points. Over the break, your online contributions were tallied, scaled, and scored. Here’s the spread:
I want to point out the shaded areas. One student contributed enough to break the curve, so that student was set aside and highlighted here in blue; the rest of your contributions were scaled generously, which produced the red area. That red area indicates that a student who contributed negatively to the discussion would still pass—that, for example, a student who logged in and incoherently cursed out his classmates, thus losing points, would still pass. No such student exists, of course, so the red area reveals nothing more than a floating standard. Look at the unshaded area: A student making zero comments would be given a 70 overall. In a ten-day conversation that ranged over religion, morality, and the school shootings in Connecticut, failing to say anything somehow gets a C.
The alternative would be to scale more honestly and rigorously, but that would result in too many failures. The question I put to you, to be kept on low heat in the back of your minds until our education unit: What would have been fair here? I’ll leave the comments on this post unlocked, if you want to hazard a response now. Feel free to offer your thoughts; I am genuinely interested in how ineluctable this all is.
In the meantime, let’s hope you’ve read this far: You can earn up to 50% of the deficit in your grade back by writing a thorough reflection on how you approached this assignment. Be specific, thoughtful, and honest. Treat the reflection as an explication, not just a rote summary of what you did, and you will see an increase: A 70 might improve to an 85; an 80, to a 90; a 90, to a 95; and so on. You can only earn up to 50% of the missing points back, but you ought to set yourself up through this reflection to perform better in the future. Finish this reflection by the time class starts on Friday, and submit it to me typed and printed.