There's a big push at my institution to convert traditional 16-week courses into 8-week courses. The super-simplified idea is that a student could be more focused on two double-speed classes at a time, rather than four normal-speed classes.

I'm curious to hear from others (a) whether you are having a similar push and (b) if you think it is a good idea.

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May 17, 2022·edited May 17, 2022

I'm reading this while preparing to teach Spring[1] Intersession course (3-week suicidal pace, 1 day = 1 week of regular semester). If you don't hear back from me, it was my pleasure to know you.

But in all seriousness, your blog and your open source materials are immensely helpful. I was considering, but hesitant, to do something similar to #4 on your list of changes. Thanks for pushing me over the fence.

Do I understand it correctly, that you are assessing LTs as via "one and done" method? Is that a permanent change or compromise related to the compressed schedule?

If I do come back after this as a sane human, it will be thanks to the community and the vehicle that my middle schooler will inherit in 2 years will have this carved on the dashboard: "This gift was made possible by David Clark, Robert Talbert, Growth Grading Community, and the students like you"

[1]: Insert your Central California joke here. Roses are past their peak bloom and daily max temperatures in mid 90s.

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This was great from both a summer term/abbreviated term standpoint, and as someone who implemented an alternative grading system on a quarter system. Our quarters are definitely not as abbreviated as your summer term, but I have found that our 10-week normal term quarters make some aspects of alternative grading (like multiple attempts/retries) really challenging. I taught writing and composition, so this was especially pronounced given the time needed to read a draft of a piece of writing. In my current role, part of my job is faculty pro dev, and so many faculty want to implement alternative grading systems, but run up against the time issue. I think they'll find a lot of the aspects here really helpful (even though doing a 6-week term is significantly more challenging than a 10-week one).

Also--the used car-buying market is brutal. Just purchased a vehicle for our 20-year old that was $2500 to get them around town just until September. In a previous time, that same car would have been about $800.

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A very interesting post but why are online practice and daily prep included in grades? They are learning activities, not assessment activities.

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