I would be interested in hearing more on how you set your D/F line. On the one hand, 4/11 foundational skills and 0 mini projects ("the heart of the course") sounds absurdly low. On the other hand, the feedback I'm getting from my courses indicates that I'm completely missing the "big picture" of where the D/F line should be.

I think you have to focus more on the line between C and D than the line between D and F, for two reasons. One, for engineering students a "D" is essentially the same as an "F" in terms of course planning; students have to retake anything lower than a C-. Two, there are some posts here that mention that in the course build process, we want first to understand what a "C" looks like and what an "A" looks like, then build around that.

So I'm not really that concerned about what differentiates a D from an F. That grade "D" just means "you made an effort to do well in the class but it didn't succeed" and I think 4/11 standards says this. However a "C" means "minimum baseline competency" and I want to make sure *that* has fairly high standards -- notice it's 8/11 for a C.

If I were doing it again, I would probably require more miniprojects for a C. I was thinking this time that "minimum baseline competency" means most of the foundational skills are met and there's some shred of evidence that you can apply the basics. But I think ended up wanting more.

Just out of curiosity: can you give me an idea of where/how you would set the D/F line in a course like Modern Algebra or Real Analysis (which are required for graduation, but are only prerequisites for elective courses)?

Not sure I understand what you mean -- neither Modern Algebra and Real Analysis are prerequisites for elective courses. Those are both required courses at the endpoint of the Theoretical Math emphasis at GV. But here is a copy of the syllabus from Modern Algebra, Winter 2022 when I did it ungraded: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pVvE8G0Cp3cKP-MiWi9pkIjsJlQiVAen22gU1dd_1KE/edit Grading criteria are on page 5.

Thanks for sharing your course materials! The Class Prep form is great. Do you always have one question on syllabus review? It seemed like the parentheses indicated question types/purposes that showed up in all of your class prep forms.

Thanks! Yes, every Class Prep featured one syllabus/calendar question (e.g. "What are we doing five Thursdays from now?") and one math review question (e.g. about the quadratic formula when we were about to do eigenvalues of 2x2 matrices).

Great series, with lots of useful info! What exactly went into the “debriefing” phase of the groups activity?

Thanks Mauro. "Debriefing" just means discussing the main aspects of the activity and fielding questions on it.

I would be interested in hearing more on how you set your D/F line. On the one hand, 4/11 foundational skills and 0 mini projects ("the heart of the course") sounds absurdly low. On the other hand, the feedback I'm getting from my courses indicates that I'm completely missing the "big picture" of where the D/F line should be.

edited Jun 9, 2023I think you have to focus more on the line between C and D than the line between D and F, for two reasons. One, for engineering students a "D" is essentially the same as an "F" in terms of course planning; students have to retake anything lower than a C-. Two, there are some posts here that mention that in the course build process, we want first to understand what a "C" looks like and what an "A" looks like, then build around that.

So I'm not really that concerned about what differentiates a D from an F. That grade "D" just means "you made an effort to do well in the class but it didn't succeed" and I think 4/11 standards says this. However a "C" means "minimum baseline competency" and I want to make sure *that* has fairly high standards -- notice it's 8/11 for a C.

If I were doing it again, I would probably require more miniprojects for a C. I was thinking this time that "minimum baseline competency" means most of the foundational skills are met and there's some shred of evidence that you can apply the basics. But I think ended up wanting more.

Just out of curiosity: can you give me an idea of where/how you would set the D/F line in a course like Modern Algebra or Real Analysis (which are required for graduation, but are only prerequisites for elective courses)?

Not sure I understand what you mean -- neither Modern Algebra and Real Analysis are prerequisites for elective courses. Those are both required courses at the endpoint of the Theoretical Math emphasis at GV. But here is a copy of the syllabus from Modern Algebra, Winter 2022 when I did it ungraded: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pVvE8G0Cp3cKP-MiWi9pkIjsJlQiVAen22gU1dd_1KE/edit Grading criteria are on page 5.

Thanks for sharing your course materials! The Class Prep form is great. Do you always have one question on syllabus review? It seemed like the parentheses indicated question types/purposes that showed up in all of your class prep forms.

Thanks! Yes, every Class Prep featured one syllabus/calendar question (e.g. "What are we doing five Thursdays from now?") and one math review question (e.g. about the quadratic formula when we were about to do eigenvalues of 2x2 matrices).