October 10, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

First-Week Feedback, ENGL 1101

One week down in ENGL 1101! Welcome, again. It looks like we have a fairly sizable and diverse class, and most of you seem to have understood what was expected of you this week. Well done. As this is the first week, my evaluations are more generous, but I do have a few expectations for your posts each week. Here’s a breakdown of those expectations and the grades for this week.

  1. First off, the introductory post was graded separately, pass/fail. I enjoyed reading your intros.
  2. You should have posted one question and two responses about the lesson and reading for this week in the “(I.) Reading/Writing; (V.) Audience / Cofer” discussion. If your grade is lower than expected, you likely did not post enough. Since this is the first week, you may post them until Friday. If you do make up your posts, please email me when they are complete.
  3. Pay attention to your curiosity scores for your posts. In general, I use these as letter grades for your contributions, so you really do have the opportunity to score as high as you want. Don’t like the score, edit and revise. One of the great parts about using Packback is the writing coach. Use this to your advantage—especially when it comes to your essays.
  4. Last-minute posts received lower grades. This is a discussion forum, so people working only at the last minute are not really contributing to the conversation. See the suggested timeline on the schedule for when you should be posting. Later posts that repeat what was said earlier will earn fewer points. Yes, the longer you wait to post, the more work you will have to do to earn the necessary points.
  5. Be sure to proofread your posts before submitting them. I recommend the Editor’s Checklist for this.

Posts this week ranged from the perfunctory to the focused and creative. The more interesting posts will always be specific and not try to cover everything. Sometimes it’s clear that assigned readings remained unread before posting; this is always a bad idea. Remember: since we do not meet face-to-face, you do not have the luxury of in-class lectures. This background material is in written form on my web site and through linked materials, like videos. In addition, it’s up to you to find further quality sources to help in your understanding of these texts. Unfortunately, online classes often require more and consistent work than do face-to-face ones, but you knew that already, right?

That's about it for week one. How’s everyone feeling? If I have any Redditors in the class, I have a subreddit, r/GRLucas, where you can ask questions, if necessary. Or, of course, you may also just email me with any difficulties.