Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Extra-Credit Opportunity – POLSC 1 (Spring 2017)



EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY

As noted in the syllabus, students who’ve completed the REVEL online quizzes (and related assignments) are eligible for extra-credit points toward the semester grade. To be eligible, students must have completed their weekly readings on REVEL, along with the online assessment quizzes, since the purchase of the textbook. If interested, students should complete a 2-3 page self-assessment report (in Microsoft Word, double-spaced with 10- or 12-point font, Times New Roman). First, simply summarize your progress on REVEL over the semester. What are your average scores on the REVEL chapter quizzes, for example, and how has your performance on the quizzes improved over time? Second, provide a critical analysis (that means criticism and evaluation) of the REVEL online learning technology. This is your chance to vent: What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? How could it be improved? What other uses of REVEL would you like to see, for example, classroom exercises, etc.? That’s it. Students can submit their extra credit reports at any time up to their fourth midterm examination. (May 17th for MW classes and May 18th for T-TH classes. I won’t be able to accept extra-credit after the fourth midterms, because I’ll be overloaded with all kinds of end-of-semester responsibilities).

Also, since a lot fewer students purchased the REVEL digital textbook this semester, I’m also making a general extra-credit opportunity available for all students (you can do one or the other, but not both). So, for this opportunity students are to write a 3-4 page “reaction paper” on free speech on campus. Specifically, students will watch in class the Prager University video, “Does Free Speech Offend You?” And students will read Ulrich Baer’s op-ed at the New York Times, “What 'Snowflakes' Get Right About Free Speech.” Who is right? Left-wing social justice warriors won't let certain conservative personalities speak on campus, often infringing real, constitutionally-protected speech. Something’s got to give. Should colleges and universities have the right to ban certain dissenting viewpoints on campuses? Is there a valid or compelling constitutional or philosophical basis for doing so? There’s no necessary right or wrong answer here. The point is for students to be able to write and reason through the issues. (For background, you may also refer to Nathan Heller’s essay at the New Yorker, “The Big Uneasy. What's Roiling the Liberal-Arts Campus?” (Available online.) Again, there's no specific due date. Students can submit their extra credit at any time up to their fourth midterm examination. (May 17th for MW classes and May 18th for T-TH classes. I won’t be able to accept extra-credit after the fourth midterms, because I’ll be overloaded with all kinds of end-of-semester responsibilities).

No extra credit will be accepted after the fourth midterm. Do not ask for an exception to this policy, for none will be given. Finally, submit extra-credit in hard-copy only; electronic submissions (email attachments, etc.) will not be accepted.

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