Improvement is rewarded on this course. I set the grading algorithm up so that poor performance early on has no impact on the final grade.
That honeymoon period stops Monday with Class Test 3. I take the top two marks from the four class tests; this means for many students, Monday’s score will be one they are stuck with. Similarly, we are now in the 3rd Blog Period; I take the best score from three periods, so this blog period will determine the final blog grade for many students.
Some students have already done well on their blogs and class tests. In principle they need do nothing more than the final exam. But that is a bad strategy: the more practice people get on my class tests, pop quizzes and class material, the better they will do in the final exam.
A couple of years ago, a student who failed the course wrote to say he did not realize blogging counted 40% of the grade. I have just written to the 22 students in this years class who have yet to start blogging. You can’t even be in the running to pass this course if you don’t blog. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s how things currently stand for overall grades. Fail, 26; D, 11; C, 22; C+, 33; B-, 24; B, 33; B+, 11; A-, 9; A, 1. Right now, no one is stuck with those grades. From Monday, things start to congeal.