Readers who are not in my class, forgive me. I must take a brief interlude to address the concerns of students as expressed on their midterm evaluations. Students, your feedback was both constructive and helpful, and though I can't make all of the changes you would like (such as moving the class to MWF, or having classes catered by Applebee's) I want to deal with a few of your concerns and suggestions.
1. You would like for me to post an example of a good ARM. Apologies! I always do this for the ARM assignment, thought I had done it for this class, but now see that I haven't. Examples of a "good" ARM and a "poor" ARM are now posted under "Assignments" in Blackboard.
2. You would like me to get more input from quiet students. Yes. You are right. This is something I struggle with as an instructor. I get very animated and enthusiastic and am excited for the conversation to move along, and before you know it, only five or six people are involved in our classroom conversation. The hacky-sack has made an appearance recently, so if you're a quieter student, be prepared to see that (and some other tricks up my sleeve) soon. Don't forget, too, that everyone will need to participate in the upcoming presentation workshops.
3. You would like clearer explanations for assignments and their requirements. Let me remind you that we built the requirements for the blog together in class and that they are posted on Blackboard under "Assignments" in the "Blog" folder. The video assignment was explained here, along with expectations. A few of you mentioned you would have liked more time to work on the video project. Me too! I'll see if I can add more time in next time I teach the class. But one of the purposes of it is to figure out how to make a video quickly and post it to your blog. Steep learning curve, I know, but you did it, and you have that knowledge now. In any case, I have created detailed materials for the Presentation and will post them on Blackboard today!
4. One of you mentioned that there is an uncomfortable dynamic between undergrads and grads (with the grads being sort of know-it-alls who are going to get all the As). I'm guessing not all of you feel this way, but for what it's worth, the grads are graded on a different scale from the undergrads, so their A's (if they get them) don't threaten your A's (if you get them). Grads, don't let this dampen your enthusiasm for participating, but you might be aware of how you respond to undergrads. Undergrads, keep in mind that CSM is funky in how they mix grad and undergrad class and that some times the grads may want to push ahead some. That is just a dynamic we have to deal with.
5. You would like to change the ARMs due date to facilitate better discussion. Done. You can now submit ARMs by the beginning of class the day the reading is due. But keep in mind I won't have seen your ARM discussion questions, so you'll need to come to class prepared to bring them up.
Great comments, everyone, and I hope this post goes a little way towards addressing them.