I aim to use engaged learning techniques in my courses that are designed to empower students to participate in instruction and develop feedback mechanisms to improve learning and continual course development. I am not an expert in this field, and am a constant student myself of how best to develop courses that best meet students’ needs. Therefore, course expectations, topics, and methods often change based on student input.
My courses are designed as much to develop critical thinking and argument development as to deliver content. Material delivery employs a combination of readings, lectures (instructor and student-led), in-class debates, journaling, homework, and peer review. Students are expected to be resourceful in acquiring the relevant evidence to best inform their work.
As a rule, I do not negotiate with students over minor grade corrections on assignments. For every student who feels they received a subjectively low grade on an assignment, there are multiple students who likely received a subjectively high grade. If you feel like there was an egregious grading error on any given assignment, by all means discuss it with me, but it is highly unlikely that the grade will change unless a strong and compelling case is made. In my experience after assigning hundreds of course grades, any student can achieve a high grade in my courses by simply staying up on readings, attending and participating in class, and completing assignments on-time and according to the instructions.
Student Learning Accommodations:
The primary goal my courses is for students to achieve learning objectives, not to meet deadlines and complete assignments. That said, the framework provided by the coursework and due dates is important to help us achieve that goal. It is important for students to complete readings and assignments on-time and to be prepared for class discussions. However, I understand that not every student learns the same way, and we all come into this course with other responsibilities that don’t go away when we walk through the classroom door. If a short-term accommodation or adjustment to an assignment or deadline will improve your success in this course, by all means please speak to me about it. This does not mean that I will reward laziness. Flexibility is not a replacement for you completing the coursework and maintaining the trajectory of the course.
If you have a more substantial need than a minor adjustment to course requirements, and in keeping with University policy, any student with a documented disability interested in utilizing accommodations should contact SAS, the office of Disability Services on campus. SAS works with students and faculty in an interactive process to explore reasonable and appropriate accommodations, which are communicated to faculty in an accommodation letter. All students are strongly encouraged to meet with their faculty to discuss the accommodations they plan to use in each course. A student’s accommodation letter lists those accommodations that will not be implemented until the student meets with their faculty to create a plan.