There will be three exams in English
231: two midterms, each worth 30% of your grade, and a final exam worth 40% of
your grade. Class participation will be used in borderline cases to raise a student's
grade. Since exams will be based on class discussion, you should aim to miss a
maximum of two classes.
Working hard and having fun are the two top priorities
in English 231. Neither works without the other. Students who attend regularly,
take clear, well-organized notes, and complete the readings thoughtfully and on-time
are likely to succeed in the course. I do everything I can to help students succeed
in this course, including spending class time discussing exam-taking techniques,
but I can only help students who work to capacity.
formats and exam success
Exams will be offered in two formats; you
will always have your choice of formats, even until the date of the exam itself.
Multiple-choice exams will require students to have mastered main concepts,
a few key terms, and some analytical techniques; they will feature a combination
of multiple-choice questions.
Essay/short answer exams will feature a choice of identification questions covering
key terms, plus an essay. The essay topic will sometimes be announced in advance
to facilitate preparation, because some students need time to think through a
question and prepare a response. The essay will require writers to apply key concepts
to texts we've read.
Extra-credit assignments should help the instructor improve
the course and should help the student master course material. This assignment
does both. It provides me with potential test items (questions) that are written
from a student perspective. This helps me think "outside the box" about course
issues and helps me assess what people are learning in my course. Writing items
is hard work, but rewards you in three ways. By writing items, you'll master course
ideas, learn how tests are constructed, and possibly earn extra-credit points.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept
it, is to try your hand at writing test questions or items for possible use in
this course in future years. (No items submitted by current students will appear
on the exams for this semester; sorry.) Items will not be automatically accepted;
your items must fulfill the criteria on the parameter sheet (see link) to earn
extra credit. There will be no partial credit on any single item. You may submit
as many items as you like, but the maximum achievable points per student is limited
regardless of the number of items submitted. All items become my property after
you submit them.