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Dec 12 14

The end is here!

by Steve Krause

As I explain in this short video, I’ve finished reading and commenting on the final recommendation reports and I’ve calculated the grade for all of the writing projects and for participation. So what you see on emuonline is the final grade for the course.

Now technically, the “end of time” for the course is actually Monday, so if you have some issue with the grade– it wasn’t what you were expecting, you have questions about some of my comments, you want some more detailed comments on your final report, etc.– let me know. I’m not here to negotiate the final grade exactly, but at the same time, I want to give you the opportunity to speak back to me about it all, too.

It’s been a fun and interesting semester!  Good luck to those who are going on from EMU this term and, as I always say, I’ll see you online!

Dec 10 14

Voting for the winning recommendation report

by Steve Krause

We’re almost to the end!

As you know, the revised version of the Formal Recommendation Report is due by the end of the day on Wednesday, December 10.  You will hand that in the same way you’ve handed in everything else this term: post a link to the dropbox on emuonline, and make sure you also include a writer’s memo about your overall thoughts on the assignment.

As you also know, everyone gets to vote for what you think is the best report from the class, and the top five vote getters will receive A’s on this project. Here is a link to the survey form for that vote!  Your votes need to be recorded by the end of the day on Thursday, December 11.

Dec 5 14

Some overall comments on the Formal Recommendation Reports: the movie

by Steve Krause

Be sure to watch the video because I go over some important details about the assignment, some recommendations for me to improve your drafts (including a good student example from this group), a bit about the schedule, and a bit about how the voting for the winning presentation will go. So watch it!

Dec 2 14

Two important reminders about the final recommendation reports and the micro-presentations

by Steve Krause

I know you’re all getting down to business with the peer review of the formal recommendation reports, but I wanted to pass along two important reminders about how this assignment is going to work.

First, you should take a look at EVERYONE’s micro-presentation and not just the folks in your own group. Remember, you are going to vote for what you think is the best idea from the class, and that means everyone and not just your group.  It shouldn’t take you too long to do because these videos are only about 3 minutes apiece.

Look at it like this: if we were in a regular, face-to-face class, we’d be spending at least one class period (maybe two!) watching presentations, so even though this is an online class, you can take the time to watch your classmates’ videos. After all, you want everyone to watch your video, especially if that helps them vote for you, right?

Second, remember that this is a contest in that you want to vote for the best project from the whole class– again, not just from your group. As the teacher, I read and comment on all of them. But if I were a student in this class, what I would do is watch the videos and then read the summaries of the ones that I thought were the best, and then maybe the top couple of reports. In other words, I’m not expecting you to do the level of work that I do here, but I am expecting you to engage and make an informed vote.

Dec 1 14

And don’t forget: let the peer review on the formal recommendation reports begin, too!

by Steve Krause

You have already been working with the classmates in your peer review group for a while now, ever since I set these groups a while back. But here’s a post to get you started on the peer review process for this last big assignment, The Formal Report and Recommendation. Also, I talk here a bit about a schedule change for the last week of class! The short version is I will give everyone a little more time to finish up revisions to their report during the last week of the term.

read more…

Nov 30 14

Let the micro-presentations begin!

by Steve Krause

I hope everyone had a lovely and productive Thanksgiving break– a combination of whatever you do to celebrate the holiday and a time to get caught up on school, including the work on the formal reports.

Here’s where you’ll post a link to your micro-presentations and also a link to your work in progress formal report. Post it in the comments just like you’ve done before. A few important things to keep in mind though:

  • Remember our previous discussion on what these micro-presentations are supposed to be/could be. I’ve compared this a bit to what are commonly called “Elevator Pitches,” but those are typically really short– like a minute– and these can be up to about 3 minutes long.
  • You could do something as simple as talk through your proposal by recording a video at your computer similar to the way I do videos for class. You could also do something like a Powerpoint presentation with a soundtrack. And hopefully, most of you have figured out at least the basic plan about what you’re going to do before now!
  • You need to upload your videos to YouTube and post a link to your video in the discussions here.
  • Remember that this is a big part of the contest! That is, while I am guessing that not everyone will read everyone’s complete formal report (though I hope all of you at least look at the executive summary for all of the proposals). So as a result of that, this micro-presentation will probably be a major factor in how people vote for the presentations. And again, everyone will vote for what the best proposal (not your own) and the top five vote getters will receive “A’s” on this assignment!
  • Finally, remember also that this is a new aspect of this assignment for me. I don’t have any good examples of micro-presentations because I haven’t done this before. So keep an open mind, be creative, give it a shot, and we’ll see how it turns out.

I’ll post again on Monday to remind people about the peer groups for reviewing and commenting on everyone’s drafts of your complete reports.

Nov 21 14

A brief video summary of my comments on the informal reports

by Steve Krause

Check out the video and my comments on your Google doc drafts of your informal reports, everyone! And also be sure to get those last progress reports on the formal recommendation report up and running by the end of the day today.

Nov 20 14

One more recommendation report progress update (and a few recommendations/thoughts on that)

by Steve Krause

I finished commenting on/grading your resume and cover letter assignments last night and I’ll start following after your peer review on the informal reports this afternoon. But as you prepare your final progress updates on the formal recommendation reports, I thought I’d make a couple of gentle suggestions about your projects before you get into the final stages of this– and remember: you need to have your micropresentations and a draft of your final report ready the Monday after the Thanksgiving break!

  • Remember, education first. A number of you have ideas that are kind of on the edge of “educational,” things like boosting the daycare center on campus. But no matter what, you need to make that connection.
  • Remember again you absolutely, positively have to do some on the ground and specific research here! That means doing research of various types with conventional means (the internet, the library, etc.), but it also means doing things like asking people on campus.  Go ahead, don’t be shy! I’m sure that folks will help you if they can, and you can always cc me on an email or something to let them know that this really is a project for a class.
  • Finally, I’m expecting you to comment on and help each other with your progress reports. I saw some groups doing that, but I also saw some groups not doing that. So if you didn’t comment before, be sure to comment now.

So, what questions do folks have about this final report? Ask now or forever hold your peace!  Class will move very quickly after the Thanksgiving break, so there’s not going to be a lot of time to ask about this project later.  So ask now.

Nov 17 14

Beginning Informal Report Peer Review

by Steve Krause

Sorry I didn’t post this over the weekend and I will be posting grades and final comments on the resume and cover letter assignment by about Wednesday of this week– one thing after another around here. But here’s where we’ll start the peer review process for the informal report assignment.

As I mentioned the other day, let’s just stick with the same peer review groups for this one as we used for the resume and cover letter assignment. Those groups are:

Group 1: Leah Touchstone, Latasha Davis, Chelsea Idizor, Carly Woldring

Group 2: Brian Gardner, Elyse Cawetzka, Jessica Kane, Nijea Wilson

Group 3: Sabrina Gissendaner, Kristen Smith, Kourtney Lovett, LeeAnne Baumdraher

Group 4: Justine Trudell, Melanie Waller, Natasha Wickenheiser, Ashleigh Swinehart

You’ll do what we’ve done all semester here, folks: Post a link of the Google doc draft of your informal report to your group’s comments section. Make sure you have properly shared your document– so others can comment and edit it– and be sure to do this by the end of the day on Monday! Late projects will be docked a letter grade.

It might also be useful to review the assignment again before you read and comment on each others’ work. A couple of key questions/reminders/things to look for:

  • Does the report/essay have an introduction that explains the purpose of the report, the event attended, the date and time, and any other relevant information?
  • Does the body of the report present an organized summary of what happened at this event?
  • Does the conclusion of the report include some sort of evaluation of the value of the event?
  • Does the writer keep in mind an audience who is probably not familiar with the event itself? Or, another way of putting it: assuming you didn’t attend the same event, do you as the reader “get it?”

Finish your peer review comments by the end of the day Wednesday! This is important because what I’ll be doing in the second part of this week is following after you and adding my own comments and suggestions, just like I did for the resume and cover letter assignment.

One last thing here: You will note that this represents the main “participation” activity of this week. The only other thing you need to be doing now is working on the more formal report assignment. I will be going through and making some quick comments on your progress reports and we’ll have a discussion topic on the progress of this project later in the week. But my point is this: I’m giving you a lot of time right now to work on the final recommendation report and to finish up strong on this assignment, so take advantage of that time and do the work!

Nov 14 14

Just a reminder! Resumes/Cover Letters, Progress Reports, and Informal Reports

by Steve Krause

Lots of stuff going on here, folks! So just a brief reminder as we head into the weekend:

  • Your revised resumes and cover letters are due by the end of the day today, November 14. As has been the case with all of the other work this term, you’ll post links to these documents along with a link to a writer’s memo on the project to assignment dropbox on emuonline. I’ll dock late or incomplete work a letter grade.
  • Also by the end of the day today,  be sure to post a second progress report. You’ll do this just like before: post it in the comments for your group; and in case you forgot which group is what:
  • Group 1: LeeAnne Baumdraher, Chelsea Idzior, Natasha Wickenheiser, Jessica Kane
  • Group 2: Kourtney Lovett, Carly Woldring, Nijea Wilson, Kristen Smith
  • Group 3: Elyse Cawetzka,Melanie Waller, Brian Gardner, Sabrina Gissendaner
  • Group 4: Latasha Davis, Justin Trudell, Leah Touchstone, Ashleigh Swinehart
  • Finally, a draft of your informal report is due for peer review by the end of the day on Monday!  This assignment has been in the works for a long time now, so hopefully most of you have already attended an event and at least started (if not finished) a draft.  If you haven’t attended an event yet, you should take a look at the EMU Calendar.

    The good news is that there are lots of things going on even for the procrastinators amongst you, and a lot of these events should work for folks with tight schedules. For example, today (as I type this!) is the Graduate Research Conference, which is an annual event featuring the scholarship of EMU grad students. I already mentioned the job fair going on today– that too would count as an appropriate event for this. The art gallery in the student center is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, and there’s a “holiday art fair” from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday in the Convocation Center. Lots of stuff to do this weekend!