Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Class as Learning Community

Class attendance and informed participation in class activities is crucial. This class is a learning community, and a key element in fostering community is member responsibility to both the self and the community. Each class member must assume responsibility for his or her learning and support the learning of others. Assuming responsibility means preparing for class, asking for help, responding to classmates, and respecting differences. These expectations also apply to me as your instructor.

I expect you to arrive on time and stay until each class meeting’s conclusion. Arriving late or leaving early disrupts everyone’s learning. If you do not attend class, you miss a crucial element of the community learning experience that is a key premise of this course and, conversely, the class misses your unique contributions. Whatever the reason for an absence, the missed learning experience is irreplaceable. If you miss class, you are responsible for obtaining notes, handouts, and assignments from classmates and not from me. More than three recorded absences (one week) will lower your final course grade by one letter. More than six recorded absences (two weeks) will lower your final course grade to an F.

The classroom community can best learn if everyone participates. I expect you to attend each class prepared to contribute productively to discussion and other class activities. Preparation is your reflection on the assigned readings. Productive participation includes, but is not limited to: informed responses to discussion questions related to the readings; thoughtfully answering questions posed in class discussions; sharing your unique perspective or knowledge of course material with the class; and posing questions or offering comments that demonstrate your comprehension and reflection on assigned readings.

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