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. There is an oral presentation from each team. Since I have explicitly asked anyone who is unwell or even suspects that they might be unwell not to come to class, I am indicating that an RPE can proceed as long as at least one person on each team can be present, to speak. I will urge us to form as many 3-person teams as possible, to better cover the case where some team member cannot be present in person. I have also budgeted at least one date at the very end of term to reschedule an RPE that was unable to proceed. The rest of the RPE class has teams answering questions from classmates and a closing statement. Everything is timed and moderated by the TAs. Those who cannot participate during the timeslot (hand not taken or absence to illness) are still able to provide a comment in the folder for the RPE on their newsgroup and this will count towards participation. 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. All documents for an RPE are uploaded to the appropriate newsgroup folder. TAs give feedback on RPEs not long after they take place but actual grades are not distributed until the last class of term (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 the TA in charge. Read the instructions. Indicate multiple choices. A chart will grow for you to see what is still open to choose. NOTE that if you put in a request for a group to be together, you MUST cc your groupmates to that the TA knows that they actually want to do this. 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. We will try to send one broadcast to everyone in the same section before the term begins so that you can see email addresses, to know who is in your section. Showing up to class on those early days of term will also help you to see who is there. This may assist in forming RPE teams. If you have no preference, STILL email us to let us know. You can arrive as a 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 and good attendance (being there, 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 our 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, as one component. You should pay special attention during one RPE where you are not a "presenter" and reflect on it. Pick a date to pay attention. You can get much of this part 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 Participation 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 22.
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.