Activities & Assessments

This class uses ungrading for many of the activities you will be doing throughout the semester. Ungrading attempts to free learning from the manipulation of letter grades. Work that is “ungraded” will receive one of the following notations in Brightspace: Complete, meets all expectations; Complete, does not meet all expectations; and Not complete. I will also offer feedback on this work periodically throughout the semester. If you want to learn more about the concept of ungrading, please visit this website:

Work that is graded will be assess as described below and will also receive feedback when appropriate.

Graded Activities

Podcast (40%): With a small group, you will script, record, and produce an episode for our class podcast. This work will be publicly available through the course web site and a number of podcast providers. Please see the Podcast Assignment Sheet for details. Upon consultation with me, you may choose an alternative research project.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, SLO5

Formal Essays (30%): Over the course of the semester, you will write three short, formal essays. One will serve as our course midterm, one as our course final, and one as a reflection of your work on the podcast project.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3

Self Assessments (30%): You will complete two learning self-assessments, one at midterm and one at the end of the semester. As a part of these self-assessments, you will award yourself a letter grade based on the effort you have made and the learning you have achieved to that point.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, SLO5

Ungraded Activities

Course Blog: You will contribute to our course blog by posting a number of short writing assignments and reflections that will be publicly available. Of the fourteen assigned blog posts, you must complete at least 8. Please see the Course Blog Assignment Sheet for the complete details.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, SLO5

Annotated Readings: Over the course of the semester, we will read a number of articles and chapters to help us develop our understanding of dystopias more thoroughly. Each of these will be available online, and as you read them, you will collaboratively annotate them using a free system called Please see the Annotated Readings Assignment Sheet for complete details.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4

Learning Journal: Each week, you will encounter new course material by watching video lectures, reading various texts, and watching other forms of media. You will engage with that course material through class discussions, group activities, and individual activities. Please see the Learning Journal Assignment Sheet for more details.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO2, SLO4, SLO5

Discussions & Other Activities: Every week, you will be asked to participate in different learning activities and engagements.

  • Connected Course Outcomes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, SLO5

How Your Learning Will Be Graded

You must successfully complete all of the above to pass this class. Graded assignments will be assessed using the following grade scale. Please note that simply meeting the basic requirements for any assignment will never earn you better than an adequate grade: good and excellent work go well beyond the expectations.

Excellent A = 93-100%A– = 90-92%
GoodB+ = 87-89%B = 83-86%B– = 80-82%
AdequateC+ = 77-79%C = 73-76%C– = 70-72%
PoorD+ = 67-69%D = 63-66%D– = 60-62%
Unacceptable F = 0-59% 
This table outlines the grade scale for this class, which follows the college standard.

Your midterm course grade (posted to Banner on March 11) will be calculated as follows:

  • Formal Essays (50%) + Self-Assessments (50%)

Your final course grade (posted to Banner on May 6) will be calculated as follows:

  • Podcast Project (40%) + Formal Essays (30%) + Self-Assessments (30%)

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