English 1102.002: Reading Themes in Literature (Digital Culture)
Hybrid Delivery

Fall 2016 – Douglas College – David N. Wright
Class Leads and Online Commenting

General Approach for Online Class Leads and Commenting: Expectations for completing Class Leads and commenting upon them are the same as they would be for essays minus the word count and formatting requirements. Suffice to say, all the writing, comprehension, and critical thinking skills required for essays and exams will be needed to be successful in the Class Leads and commenting upon them.


Class Leads (20% of your final grade):

Task: Lead the in-class discussion by responding to the Email prompt and outlining a context for our discussion–some interesting facet or application or connection or interpretation of the assigned text(s) and/or related text. You will post your class lead on the class writer and monitor the comments connected to your post from your classmates, responding to the comments as warranted.

Explanations: Each week there will be 5–7 individuals assigned to lead the class discussion and direction for the upcoming week by contributing a ~500 word commentary to the class writer. I will Email those people who are scheduled for an upcoming Class Lead on the Thursday before the Monday due date (see below), as a group, through Blackboard, with the prompt for your assigned Class Lead. I will keep the Email list private, unless you all come to me beforehand and tell me you would like to take a group approach to the assignment. You will then have roughly four days to complete and post the class lead assignment.

Please Email me immediately if it is your week to do a Class Lead and you do not receive an Email on the Thursday before you are due to post. Remember that Class Leads are a week ahead of the class schedule–so the Thursday prompt from me will come into your inbox 8 days before we will deal with the topic in class–you will probably need to read ahead of the class schedule to complete the Class Lead Assignment. Please check your Blackboard Email address to get the prompt; that is the only Email address I will use. If it’s wrong, or you don’t check it, you won’t get the prompt.

Class Leads are not an opportunity for you to figure out what I might want to discuss or what I want to hear from you or to decipher my opinion on the topic or text at hand. Instead, think of the Class Lead as an opportunity for you to shape how we approach a topic or text. The Class Leads are your chance to make the class relevant to your interests and to guide your learning in a way that suits your needs and interests. The Class Leads are not about writing for an instructor–they’re about giving you the chance to participate fully in how you experience learning in the this class. Recording your frustrations is also part of the process in completing Class Leads. You should feel free to record your frustrations, successes, highlights, and lowlights. Everything is valid as long as it is thoughtful. You should absolutely avoid writing as if you are reaching for a grade. You are trying to be thoughtful and learn something, not “write for a C.”

Due Dates: The Class Leads must be posted no later than Monday at 5pm before the next class meeting where the Class Lead will be discussed. So, if you are assigned a Class Lead, you need to be a week ahead of the class discussion. I will post a list of the individuals and the due dates on Blackboard after the first week of class. We will begin posting on September 28 for the September 30th class meeting.

Penalties: Failure to post a Class Lead on time (posted by Monday at 5pm before the class it relates to) will result in a 0% for the assignment. There is no flexibility here. The dates are assigned well in advance. Should you be aware that your assigned date will not work, it is your responsibility to find someone who will switch with you and then to tell me who that person is and what date you will be taking instead.


Commenting on Class Leads (10% of your final grade):

Task: Each week, write a ~150 word comment on one Class Lead of interest to you. You should read all the Class Leads and comment on the one you think most interesting. Avoid commenting on the first one you see; your classmates are graded, in part, on the discussion their post generates.

Explanations: Your comment should reflect some engagement with what the Class Lead addresses. You might want to qualify something you noted in the Class Lead, ask for clarification, or offer your own example affirming the Class Lead position. You should avoid “assessing” the Class Lead. Think of your comment as a contribution for ongoing discussion and debate. If your comment generates further discussion, you should follow up and continue that dialogue where warranted.

Penalties: You must comment by Wednesday midnight before the Friday class. If you do not comment before that time, you will not be awarded a comment mark for that Class Lead.


Class Lead Due Dates and Process:

Class leads Due Monday before next week’s class (comments on Wednesday)

  • Class Lead prompts will be Emailed on: Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24
  • if you do not receive a Class Lead prompt Email and you are scheduled to complete the class lead, Email me ASAP
  • Class Leads are due: Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Comments on Class Leads are due: Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • There will be no extensions or makeups on comments. If the deadline passes, you miss your chance.

Grading Procedures for Class Leads:

  • *10/10*: The content and delivery exceed expectations of the prompt. They demonstrate a highly proficient, even memorable knowledge of the course material. They spark significant discussion.
  • *9–8/10*: The content and delivery exceed expectations of the prompt. They demonstrate a proficient knowledge of the course material. They spark significant discussion.
  • *6–7/10*: The content and delivery meet expectations of the prompt. They demonstrate accepted knowledge of the course material. They spark some discussion.
  • *5–6/10*: The content and delivery meet some expectations of the prompt. They demonstrate accepted knowledge of the course material but spark little to no discussion.
  • *0–4/10*: The presentation is not given, or the content and delivery do not meet expectations of the prompt. They do not demonstrate knowledge of the course material, and they do not spark discussion.