Grading has finished for blogging period 1. In this post I’ll give some information about the grade distribution, and comments.
- There are 20 students in the D and F area. Almost without exception, these are students who either have posted nothing at all, or posted their initial introduction (required in Week 1) and then stopped. Because of the best-of-three-periods algorithm that I am using for the blogs, these students still have two opportunities to succeed in this component of the course; I hope they take advantage of it.
- Among those who did post something substantive, many did not post enough to obtain higher than a “C” grade. For a “B”, the syllabus requirement is one post a week. This does not seem too demanding, especially for a class without other homework assignments.
- Many posts contained simple errors that could be eliminated by re-reading them more carefully: links that do not work, math calculations that do not yield the answer stated, mistakes about units (confusing dollars with cents was surprisingly common – let’s hope students don’t do that in real life!)
- A quality post does not just contain numbers, but uses quantitative reasoning to advance an argument. A good way to do this is to make comparisons between different scenarios. Sarah’s sample post is a good example of this.
- It was interesting to see so many posts that tried to evaluate some “sustainability”-related change (should I use bottled water?/buy a hybrid car?) in financial terms alone. Sometimes the “sustainable” approach will save money, sometimes it may not. I would have liked to see more discussion of the trade-offs that are inevitable in such decisions – I sometimes got the impression that the financial bottom line was going to settle everything.
- Even in the best posts there was room for improvement in presentation, argument and referencing. I will be glad to talk in office hours with anyone who wants help working on their blogging skills or crafting a quality post.