Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, November 21, 2014


At the end of every semester I like to evaluate how things went, and to consider what changes in format might be worth a try. Your suggestions welcome.

For next semester I'm considering these changes:

  • More offense: you still have to come to class to reach 1st base, but you now can come all the way around to score by posting a single FQ, DQ, comment, or link. Each additional question or comment earns another run.
  • More substantive comments: each posted comment of more than two relevant sentences earns two runs.
  • In addition to authors, moderators, scorekeepers, scoreboard administrators, computer-projector starters, and bell-ringers (maybe we should call them timekeepers) automatically score their first run.
  • 5-10 minutes of whole-class discussion to precede and/or follow daily group discussion.
  • Authors required to post discussion summaries prior to leaving class - this time I mean it!
  • Scorekeepers in each group to verify and post everyone's current runs totals daily.
  • Floaters who actually float, every day. Everyone floats.
  • New groups every 4 weeks.
  • Simpler bonus exemptions: perfect attendance now to be defined as allowing two "personal days" absence; group runs leaders and wildcards exempt from exam #3, with an option to do a final solo presentation instead of a written final report. But no more partial exemptions from reports (because too many of us  never seemed to grasp the concept of "partial exemption"). The class runs leader is still wholly exempt from exam #3 and a final report.
  • Final reports now to require everyone (except group runs leaders and wildcards who choose to do a final solo presentation instead) to post a written final report, in two or three installments. First installment a week prior to the end of regular classes, the final installment no later than a week after the last regular class date.
  • Since only runs leaders and wildcards are eligible to do final solo report presentations, there will be (at most) only five of those, all to be scheduled during the last regular week of class.
  • Exam #3 on the last regular class date. No exam on the official final exam date. Exam week now devoted to writing and posting final reports.
  • Before daily group discussion, whole class to vote on the best DQ. Every group to begin by discussing it.
  • Timekeepers to ring bell after 30 minutes, quiz finished or not. If not, groups can choose to finish it themselves during group discussion.
  • Scoring logs: everyone must keep a daily written record of each run claimed on the scoresheet, and show it to your group's scorekeeper when asked at the end of each class.
  • Your ideas... (comment please)


  1. Anonymous1:55 PM CST

    i think those would be great changes, considering nobody every really posts or comments everyday before class...i notice all these poeple with runs never posted a day this semester which is a bit annoying

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The point of scorekeepers is to document all the runs, every day. Next time we'll insist on that.

    "nobody every really posts or comments everyday before class" - this is not true, several people have been diligent all semester. But if you know of specific people in your group who've claimed runs for non-existent posts or comments, please call them out. As I keep saying, it's each group's responsibility to validate the runs its members have claimed.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. Anonymous5:19 PM CST

    I suggest focusing the quizes and exams over the major concepts such as "what is existentialism" or "what did Jean-Paul Sartre do within the existentialism belief" instead of simple "T/F Sartre was born in 1905" questions. I feel we would actually be learning about philosophy and what philosophers contributed to their beliefs and society instead of when they were born.