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ACTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS

Substitute credit may be earned in two ways,  by:

  • Improving an activity assignment, as described below, and/or by
  • Attending selected Success Workshops.

Students see a class in a way no teacher can: as a new learner.  With that in mind, students in my class can gain substitute credit (see the Mech 1 syllabus) by improving the class using the skills and experience they learned in the class itself.  It's the opportunity for a student to demonstrate how she would improve at least a portion of a class, if she had the chance.

To improve a lab/activity assignment grade, the student must complete the following sequence:

  1. Choose an existing activity topic (Transformers, RC Time Constants, etc.) and decide what needs to be changed about that activity.  The student may choose to offer a totally new or different activity (for that existing topic).

  2. Make a list of the improvements that are to be made and the materials (parts list / schematics) that would be required for the new handout.

      1. The list has to be substantial enough so that, in the instructor's sole opinion, at least an hour and a half will be required to redo the assignment into a finished product.  
      2. The instructor will require the new handout have at least two pages.  
        1. The first page will be for instructional steps, a materials list and schematics (and/or pictorials).  
        2. A second page will be for fill-in data.  
      3. Put another way, the handout should have about the same structure and quality as the instructor's own handouts, although some of the original material may be reused (e.g., pictorials and schematics, if unmodified).

  3. Submit the list of changes (or the new activity) to the instructor for approval.
      1. If approval isn't granted by this point (prior to submission), the improved handout will not be accepted for substitute credit.

  4. Upon approval, the student will substantially rewrite the activity so that it is a functional document that could actually be used in class for that topic.

  5. Submit all of the following by the due date:

      1. The original handout (get an unused copy from the instructor).
      2. The new handout (with instructional steps, materials list and schematics).
      3. A page detailing:
          1. The reasons why the activity was improved or changed (the things wrong with the original exercise).
          2. A list of the improvements that were used to make the exercise better.

Questions (about suitability, etc.) should be done by e-mail.

Students may only submit up to two substitute credit requests total (chosen from the Success Workshops and/or the activity improvements).  Submit requests by the due date.

For each activity handout successfully improved, an activity grade may be substituted with a better score.  

  • The instructor will grade the improved handout.  
    • He will be looking for problems a student could encounter while doing the activity, such as: safety issues, missed topic points, grammar and spelling, quality of the illustrations and materials list, design and layout, etc.  
  • That assigned grade will replace the grade earned on the original exercise.  
    • If, for example, the newly improved activity grade is a 90% and the original lab grade that the student is seeking to replace was a 70%, the 90% grade will replace it.  
  • The substitute grade will never reduce the initial grade, however, and the substitute grade will never exceed 100%.  
  • Once the exercise grade has been replaced, the substitute grade cannot be changed to a different exercise.  

Rules about exercise improvements:

  • Are subject to change.
  • The instructor has the final decision on suitability of any activity used for substitute credit.  
  • "Substitute credit" is intended to "substitute" for low scores, not to replace missed grades.  
  • Activity exercises are part of the required curriculum and must be completed to be eligible for substitute credit.  
  • A "0" (zero) grade will not be eligible for substitution.  Credit transfer isn't allowed.

Possibility of a grade improvement:

  • There are many factors that contribute to how much a student's overall grade may or may not be improved by participating in substitute credit activities.  
  • Any change may not be enough to affect the recorded letter grade for the class.

Participation in any substitute credit activity is entirely optional, is intended as an incentive to further student learning (not buffer student grades), and is undertaken at the student's own risk.

By submitting ideas, suggestions, and/or documents in any format, you acknowledge and agree that your submissions do not contain confidential or proprietary information and that this site's owners shall be entitled to use such submissions for any purpose, in any way we choose and any where we choose.

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"Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction."
            Anne Frank (1929 - 1945)
            Diarist & author

©2012 W. Michael Robinson