CS 492/692 - Spring 2020 - Message 7

Let me continue by clarifying what RPEs are and saying a few words about the calculation of your overall grade. Role Playing Exercises are supposed to be like Town Hall discusions on a topic where there may be two diverging opions. It is not a debate, however because teams are not supposed to be spewing venom at the opposite side. When we were face to face there was an oral presentation component during class time but I am replacing this with simply asking teams to show up to class (at least one teammember and hopefully more) so that during the classtime, there is a synposis of position, teams answering questions from classmates and a closing statement. Everything is timed and moderated by the TAs. Those who cannot participate during the timeslot can ask very brief questions later that day. RPE teams will view the collection of additional questions and offer a general response. Teams will get a score for their in-class performance, as well as a grade for a written position paper handed in, in advance of the RPE date and a joint communique brief document, assembled after both sides talk to each other to see common ground. TAs give feedback on RPEs not long after they take place but actual grades are not distributed until Jul 29, the last class (with oversight from me, with comparisons between RPEs made). VERY important: those who go first will be graded more leniently, and your requests come in right after class time, first come first served. So go for it! When you indicate a preference you email NOT ME but your TA in charge. Read the instructions. Indicate multiple choices. A chart will grow for you to see what is still open to choose. Teams are 2 or 3. We put stragglers into open spots at the end and reserve the right to cancel an RPE if numbers dictate and to move around the last people in. TAs will make sure everyone knows emails of teammates. I have corresponded with everyone in the same section in one email that reveals all emails of classmates so feel free to search for someone you may know, to see if they want to be your teammate. If you have no preference, still email us to let us know. You can arrive as singleton for your favourite RPE or can simply request to be put "wherever needed".

The overall class grade splits up as: 20 for RPEs, 20 for class participation (judged on how clever your comments are more so than how often you post but we take attendance on each class day (during timeslot or later that same day until midnight (Eastern)) and good attendance (I am here, no coments) still earns you a respectable grade. Assignments are worth 60 marks. One is a sheet of short answers (A2). The other are essays. A4 is done in groups of 5 where we form the groups and let you know in advance. There is one day in the schedule devoted to allowing teams to meet, with my endeavouring to answer any questions that arise (and giving some general advice at the outset). A1 and A6 are short pieces of 750 words. A3 and A5 are longer 2000 word essays with required research and citation. Feedback on the earlier assignments may help you to improve on the later one. A4 is 2500 words but has several required elements and multiple people writing. A5 is worth 15 marks because there is some open-ended choice. A3 and A4 are worth 10 marks and I grade groupwork very leniently. There is a form to report groupmates who fail to contribute, dramatically and if any of these cases arise I reserve the right to zero their grade. A1 and A6 are worth 5 marks. A6 asks you to reflect on the RPEs. You need to pay special attention during one RPE where you are not a "presenter" and report on it. Pick a date to pay attention. You can get most of A6 done early in the term. You also add a chart with a one line comment on each RPE attended. A2 is worth 5 marks too. As mentioned before the grade out of 50 for assignments is converted to one out of 60. Many of your grades are revealed in LEARN before the end of term. A5, A6 and Class Paricipation do not show up until about the 3rd week of August. Class participation is affected by the exercise called A5B, which takes place the same day that A5 is due, Jul 27.

I think this hits the highlights. Unfortunately a few more pages for you to read than in previous years. Let me conclude with a few more words about course delivery through discussion boards and expectations.