Eiland's Online English Materials

Grading Policy and Assessment: Distance Education/Online

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Examinations, Assignments, Grading
Homework and Interaction
Participation and Expectations
Grading Policy
Course Repeat Policy

Examinations, Assignments, Grading
We will have one (1) ON-CAMPUS ESSAY (TEST), as well as two (2) OUT-OF-CLASS ESSAYS. All Out-of-Class papers will be typed (or word processed), double spaced, and about 5-14 pages in length (depending on the assignment). On-Campus essays (tests) will be written in blue or black ink, double spaced in a bluebook (available in the bookstore). The term paper (ESSAY 2 or PAPER 2) will be an in-depth analysis of one of several authors (your choice from a list I provide) in one of the course-appropriate categories. It should reflect your overall understanding of the concepts taught in this course. For on-campus timed essays (tests), you will be allowed to use dictionaries and the text which is being discussed. (ENGL 103 students will also be required to have printed versions of secondary sources with them). There is also a message board discussion group assignment which is explained in Message Board participation. Further, there is a RESPONSE assignment for most readings. RESPONSES are to be done during the course of the semester as we read the stories and other literature pieces, not dumped on me at the end of the semester. There will be a cutoff date after which NO RESPONSES will be accepted. EVERYONE ON-LINE MUST PARTICIPATE THROUGH THE BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD.

This class is a process: if you do poorly at the beginning of the course but show improvement, your grade will reflect the latter work. Conversely, if you crank out A's on the first papers but flake off as the quarter progresses, your grade will seriously suffer. It is imperative you remain on top of the class. Reading ahead is encouraged. Talking with classmates and me about the assignments and any problems you may have is also encouraged. There is no curve in this course, so there is no competition. Any help from another student (except on an On-Campus test) is encouraged - communication will make this course more interesting. See grades discussion for specifics.

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Homework and Interaction
You will be expected to participate by keeping up with the reading and the writing assignments. Due date for tests and papers will be posted on Message Board. Since we will be using peer editing and feedback, the failure to do your own work will adversely affect your classmates, as well as your grade. You are responsible for both grammar and understanding the material. This class will require a great deal of reading-keep up or you will soon find yourself floundering in your own personal sea of confusion. If you do not understand something, ask!


  • A - Difficult to achieve. Must show significant insight and a clear understanding of the material. Must also exhibit a thorough understanding of the basics of composition, as well as the proper essay format and literary terminology. Must complete all work on time and as requested. Must submit a final paper that shows complete understanding of the concepts taught in this course.
  • B - Not as hard to achieve. Must be competent in the fundamentals of the writing process. Should show more than basic, clear understanding of source material and the essay format, and should have all work handed in on time and completed as requested. No major errors should be apparent in final paper(s).
  • C - Fairly simple to achieve. Should show basic understanding of the writing process, with some signs of insight into the material. All assignments should be completed, with only a few minor errors. If you simply show up and do the work, you'll probably get this grade.
  • D - Pretty easy to achieve. Major errors will still be evident in writing. Missed assignments, failure to complete assignments, and lack of improvement will get you one of these grades.
  • F or FW - Real easy to achieve. Don't show up, don't do the assignments, don't improve at all, and show a real lack of concern for the whole thing, and you earn one of these grades.

This is a process; if you do poorly at first, but improve as the semester progresses, your grade will reflect the latter work. Conversely, if you get A's at the beginning of the course but fail to maintain that level of achievement as the semester progresses, your grade will suffer. Thus, as you improve, so will your grade. It is possible to start out with C's and D's at the beginning of the term and have a B or an A as your final grade. What you must keep in mind is that a recorded grade is final and is unlikely to be changed. Don't forget to officially drop or withdraw from a class which you no longer attend or it will likely be an "F" or "FW"on your record. Be sure to finish all assignments as requested, for Incompletes are also a rarity, designed for specific instances which are clearly outlined in the college catalog. Know your responsibilities. And remember: although I explain in great detail the merits and weaknesses of your paper, the grade itself is not changeable unless you rewrite the paper. Grades are not negotiable.

I weigh the grades as follows:

Item Value
Paper 1 15%
Test 20%
Annotated Works Cited 10%
Final Paper 25%
Message Board Discussion Group Posting 15%
Message Board Discussion Group Posting Response 5%
Participation/Responses 5%
Outline 5%

A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0

A "PLUS" (+) adds 0.3 points to a grade; a "MINUS" (-) subtracts 0.3 points from a grade. A "B+" then, is a 3.3 G.P.A.; an "A-" is a 3.7 G.P.A.

If you fail to take the final exam or fail to hand in a satisfactory final paper, you will fail the course.

See the grade grid to calculate your grade points in this course.

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Plagiarism is the act of submitting someone else's work as your own. This includes using a report or essay written by someone else, quoting from a source without giving that source credit, or taking someone else's ideas or thoughts and submitting them as your own. The school policy on plagiarism is simple: If you are caught, you will be sent to the Vice President of Instruction. We do this in order to identify problem students. Also, you will certainly fail the assignment. With repeated offenses, you will fail the course, and possibly be expelled from this institution. The bottom line is that we want your thoughts and ideas, in your words. Essays and reports sold through the mail are not acceptable, and will get you into a great deal of trouble. If you use a quote from someone else, document it by giving the writer's name, the work the quote came from, and the page numbers. You must use the correct citation format on your final paper to receive full credit. If you have any questions, I can help you to document sources correctly.

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This is not a correspondence course. However, since there is no fixed time that we meet other than the chat, which is optional, we are required by law and by education statute to establish some way to indicate that you are engaged in a course. Thus, your participation on the message board and your contact with me through e-mail... or through chat, if that's what you choose to do... is an indicator of your status in the class. Any student that does not contact me within the first week of instruction can be dropped. Any student that does not complete assignments on time can also be dropped, because in a class like this, submitting assignments would be an indicator that the student is participating. That means regularly doing responses throughout the semester, meeting the deadline for your particular messageboard discussion group posting, and submitting papers and taking tests by the posted due date, as well as staying in contact with me through e-mail will guarantee your place in the course. Obviously, things come up in which the individual must step away from a class for maybe even a week or two. However, you are required to contact the instructor before you make such a decision in order to maintain your place on the class roster. You must see me about situations before they become problems.

Make-ups for missed in-class/on campus essays will be done if the excuse is valid: if you know in advance you will miss a day, we can arrange for the test to be taken early. If you come to me after the fact, some sort of verification will be necessary in order to be allowed to take a make-up exam. Nothing is written in stone, so if you have any problems, come and see me; maybe we can work something out. However, if you don't care enough to make the effort, I won't either.

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Next, a word about class conduct. You are all adults. This is a learning environment. It is not your living room or a public place. I personally don't care how you speak to others or your friends outside of this class, but it is my responsibility to keep some semblance of order and decorum in this classroom. Although this class is online, your time in the chat room and on the message board is considered class time, so the rules of conduct listed in the college catalog still apply. Treat others with respect and you will receive the same. I reserve the right to remove anyone who cannot comply with the conduct guidelines set forth in the college catalog. Know the rules and be respectful.

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Repeating the Course
It is important that you succeed in this course. If you get a D, F, FW, NC or W grade in this course, you may repeat it only once without petition. If you receive a D, F, NC or W in this course twice, you will need to take this course at another college or file a petition (Request for Exceptional Course Repeat) with the Counseling Office. The few successful petitions each year are granted because of extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student (see Catalog, pages 26-27, section: Repeated Courses for more details). If your petition is granted, there is no guarantee you will be able to add the course. You will be added at the discretion of the instructor and only if the class has an available space.

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Finally, the Tutoring Lab, the Writing Cafe, and the TESTING CENTER are located in the ED building. There are tutors and other aids to help you. Use it! One last thing. I am willing to meet with you in my office if you need help or have any questions... however, make sure that you contact me beforehand to make sure I do not have a meeting or some other obligations that is in conflict with my post office hours. I expect you to take the initiative to do the best you can this semester.

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If you are a student with special physical or developmental needs for testing, reading, or essay production, please contact me as soon as possible. Verification with DSP&S will allow you to get special consideration for these tasks. It is the student's responsibility to inform both the instructor and other staff of these needs.

© T. T. Eiland, January 1998
Last modified: May 29, 2016