Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community

Meinking - Implementation 2015

In 2015, my objectives in making the changes that I did to the course were (1) to increase the degree to which students are both introduced to and assessed on their understanding of cultural content, and (2) to transform the reading journal into something that served the purposes of preparing students for class, making them more accountable, and gathering data on their metacognitive experiences.

The clearest changes to the course structure are evident in the supplementary documents (syllabus, policies, and rubric [all pdf]). In terms of in-class activities and pedagogical methods, the course remains the same as described above, with in-class time spent with the instructor and peer mentor rotating between groups, peer-to-peer reading, and other collaborative activities. Some of the specifics have shifted, however, as outlined below:

Course Components and Point Distribution
The total number of points available for the course is 525, distributed as follows:
          Task 2 (5x15)                75
          Task 6 (5x15)                75
          Challenge (15x15)      225
          Composition               150
          Total                           525

Challenges
There are 15 separate challenges (one for each chapter [ example ]). Each consists of 5 short answer questions, 3 English-to-Latin sentences, a passage to translate with associated grammar questions to answer, and a paragraph-long response to a cultural question or series of prompts.

Students must earn a score of at least 86.6% (= 13 points) to move on to the next chapter; when they have done so the next chapter’s folder is “unlocked” for them in Moodle. A score of 93% or above earns a student 14 points and a score of 99% or above garners 15 points.

Moodle Tasks
Each chapter has a series of six tasks associated with it. Students must complete each of these tasks before they can read and work through a chapter with me in class; these must be submitted via Moodle (where they are all available in separate chapter folders) by 5:00am on the day that students want to work on that chapter. (5:00am is the deadline that leaves me enough time to organize the class each MWF.) The tasks are always as follows:

          Task 1 read and re-read the chapter (with prompts)
          Task 2 reading journal (prompts) -- this is submitted as written work via Moodle and graded
          Task 3 podcasts (3-5 brief podcasts that explain the newly introduced English grammar)
          Task 4 concept check (a 8-10 question quiz that is meant solely as formative feedback)
          Task 5 culture in context (1-3 articles/images/etc. that tie the chapter’s content to culture)
          Task 6 synthesis (prompts) -- this is also submitted as written work via Moodle and graded

Each task can only be “unlocked” after the previous task has been submitted or accessed.


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