Weekly Workload, Class Schedule and Work
Jana’s Workload Philosophy
My classes typically require the maximum of work recommended by university guidelines for both undergraduates and graduate students. I do this because, if students make a good faith effort to engage with all the assignments, on the timetable suggested, they are very likely to do well. In other words, my philosophy is to require enough and variety of work, to ensure that you will learn, if you do it consistently and with engagement.
Most students do well in my class if they engage with all the work on the required timetable. Those students who do not do well are usually those who do a minimal job on the assignments, do not log in regularly, or skip assignments altogether.
Weekly time expectations, following ABOR workload guidelines for undergraduates and general SILRS guidelines for graduate students:
- 488 students: Assuming the equivalent of 3 hours of class time and 2-3 additional study hours per class hour, 488 students can expect to put in 10-12 hours per week on work for this class, depending on how fast individuals work.
- 588 students: Assuming the equivalent of 3 hours of class time and 3-4 additional study hours per class hour, 588 students can expect to put in 12-14 hours per week on work for this class.
Normally, it takes 2-3 weeks for students to adjust to the rhythm of this class work. If, after week 3, you find that you are putting in more than this amount of time, get in touch with me, and I will try to help you with ways to reduce your time period.
Class Weekly Schedule
A number of you, especially graduate students, may have become used to face2face classes that meet only once a week. You may even have formed the habit of logging into online classes once a week and doing all the work in one long stretch.
BE ADVISED: This course does not follow either of these patterns. A better model would be the undergraduate pattern of meeting three days a week for an hour. The work is spread out over the week. You will be expected to log in three times, at the beginning, middle and end of the work week.
Beginning: Sunday noon, Monday, Tuesday. Log in at the beginning of the week to check the news, preferably Sunday or Monday, review the module plan for the week, and listen to the lecture, either in real time or recorded time. Read Set I readings, and work on your 5 set I questions.
Middle: Log in the middle, Wednesday-Thursday, to post your Set I questions. Start the Set II readings, work on terminology, start to post answers to Set II questions in small group discussion, and begin work on your activity. You can start taking the quiz on Thursday
End: Friday -Sunday noon: Log in to take the quizzes, as many times as you like, post some more in your small group discussion, including replying to others, post your activity results and your reflective blog by Sunday at noon.
The work week runs from Sunday at noon (except for the first week) to Sunday at 11:59 am. Students are encouraged to check in on Sunday afternoon or evening to view the News and to review the module plan. The News, which opens when you log into this D2L course, will be the way I communicate with the class. I sometimes post something in the news every day, or every other day, and so it will be useful to form the habit of checking in. The most recent news item is on top, so when you log in, scroll down until you reach the last message you have read. Each student is responsible for knowing what is posted in the news. "I didn't see it" is not an acceptable excuse.
Lectures: Listening to a 1-2 hour recorded lecture from the instructor is required every week. The lecture will be available through D2L on Collaborate (formerly Elluminate), usually by 6 pm on Sunday. The lecture will be recorded in real-time on Sunday afternoons from 3-5 pm, unless otherwise announced, and students are invited to log in and hear the lecture in real time. Real-time attendance gives the opportunity to ask questions via audio. Attendance at the live session is not required. If you do not attend the live session, however, you must view the recording of the lecture which will be usually available an hour after the end of the live session. Students who view the recorded session should do that in the first part of the week, as it provides background for the other work during the week. Viewing of every lecture during the appropriate week is required.
Readings: Readings are required every week from the required text or articles posted in D2L. These readings usually will not exceed 50 pages, but some of them take time to understand and absorb, so I suggest that students pace their reading over the week if possible. The purpose of the readings is to retain the big picture of the reading and as many details as possible. I have also tried to find You Tube videos that present the history to you, instead of readings.
Terminology Quizzes: Each week there will be a list of between 20 and 35 terms or concepts, depending on the week. A weekly quiz will be available from 12:01 am on Thursday to 11:59 am on Sunday. Although the weekly quizzes are not graded and may be taken as many times during the relevant week as desired, at least one attempt is required each week. Quiz questions from each week will make up the midterm quiz exam and the final quiz exam, both of which will be graded and will count in your overall grade. So the weekly quizzes are, in a sense, required practice, and they will also give both of us an indication of how you are absorbing the material. All quizzes will be open before the mid-term and final for study.
Questions: Each week there will be 2 sets of questions: Set I and Set II
Set I will consist of 5 questions and be based on the lecture and the readings. All students will be required to write out the answers to questions. Answers should be at least one paragraph and should mix facts with your own thoughts and be a good faith effort to answer the question. Grades will usually be satisfactory or unsatisfactory (essentially pass/fail). A grade of “Outstanding” is available for those answers that show unusual depth of thought or connections. “Outstanding” does not affect the weekly letter grade of P/F, but will be noted in the student’s record. On the Monday of the beginning of the next week, the instructor will comment on the answers in Jana's forum for relevant week. This is the place to look to fill in your understanding if you missed important points.
Set II will form the basis for discussion in small groups from Thursday to Sunday, 11:59 am. On Tuesday by 11:59 pm, a summary of each group's discussion must be placed in the Set II Small Group Discussion forum. Students should establish a rotation for writing and posting the summaries.
Weekly Online Searching Activities:
In most weeks, there will be a short weekly searching activity, usually looking for something specific on the web, and then posting it in the Activity Sharing discussion, along with a short description. In addition to having you find content on your own that interests you, I try to introduce you to searching tips each week.
Weekly Reflective Blog:
At the end of their week of activity, students are asked to post a reflective blog over what they have learned. This is the time to take a few minutes and let your own thoughts flow. Blogs are not graded but credit will be lost if they are not done or done with fewer than 2- 3 sentences. I value reflective blog postings because they give me a clue to what students are thinking for themselves, not because I ask about something.
MID-TERM AND FINAL QUIZZES AND ESSAY EXAMS
All mid-term and final quizzes and exams will be taken on D2L in the Quizzes section. Midterms open March 6, 11:59 pm and close March 9, 11:59 pm. Final Exams will be open Friday, May 3, 12 am – May 7, 11:59 pm. Students are allowed one attempt for each quiz or exam during the above periods.
Midterm quiz and essay exams cover weeks 2 – 9; the final quiz covers terminology in 10-17; final essay exam covers the whole semester. In the final essay exam, you can expect comparative questions of the type that we will go over in the week 17 review.
Mid-term and final terminology quizzes and essay exams are all taken in D2L ON THE HONOR SYSTEM. No outside resources of any kind are to be used in answering the questions. Violation of the honor system can result in failure of the class and/or suspension from the university.
All students will do a semester-long project. Projects are of two types: 1) an academic research paper on a subject of your choice, or 2) a piece of original historical fiction, based on research. The choice is yours. Research in scholarly books and articles is the foundation of both projects. The difference is in the way you write up what you have learned about your area of focus.
Projects for 488 students should be between 1200 and 1500 words. Projects for 588 students should be between 2700 and 3000 words. Projects for 488 and 588 students are due in the dropbox on May 1, 2013, by 11:59 pm.
Once you have chosen the type of project you will do, choose the time period and geographic focus. Start with the time and area represented by one of our modules, and then narrow down to a geographical area and time period. Start your research by understanding more about your time period. Each student must find at least one article in the Encyclopedia Britannica Online (EBO), located from the library's website, > Articles and Databases> E> Encyclopedia Britannica Online. You may choose to read more. Wikipedia articles, in addition to one EBO article, are allowed, but be very aware of possible discrepancies between the two. You will be responsible for errors of fact taken from Wikipedia. Put whatever you read in your bibliography.
Both projects must focus on some aspect of the world of the book within your geographical and temporal period. You can focus on aspects of book production, distribution, content creation, collection, or any number of other topics. Research for this part of your project consists of locating and reading relevant scholarly articles, directly targeted on your area and topic. Scholarly articles are found using subject-specific databases available through the UA Main Library Website, although Google scholar may have some relevant articles; just be careful not to rely on it completely. We will talk about how to find databases during the lecture. We will also talk more about topics in the lectures. There will be a discussion forum for discussing each type of paper as well, which I will monitor every week. If you want an earlier response, send me an email.
488 students are required to use at leave five relevant scholarly articles for their projects, and 588 students must use at least 10. These are in addition to the encyclopedia articles you use for general information about your time period. All resources used need to appear in the bibliography, using APA Citation format. Be sure to remember that APA governs how you cite references in the text as well.
Preliminary pages must be submitted by all students to the instructor for review for both types of projects. They are due in the dropbox Saturday night, March 23, by 11:59 pm
For research papers, preliminaries consist of the title, the introductory paragraph ending in your thesis, an outline of the body of your paper and a bibliography including your encyclopedia article and five other articles, cited in APA format.
Historical fiction preliminaries consist of title, a narrative paragraph introducing your fictional character and his/her historical counterpart (if one exists), the opening paragraph, and an outline of the rest of your fictional presentation, and a bibliography including your encyclopedia article and five other articles, cited in APA format.
Preliminaries will be read and returned with suggestions. They will not be graded but they may be returned for re-doing before proceeding.