Academic Continuity
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by Abigail Noyce, Carnegie Mellon University


As we move into the Fall, encouraging your students to think through their plan for academic success can be especially useful. This assignment from Abigail Noyce at Carnegie Mellon University is an excellent example of one way to require students to engage in the course at the beginning of the semester and intentionally to make a plan.

Remote Learning Success Plan Assignment

 Course goals assessed

  • Demonstrate professional behavior, including respectful demeanor, consideration of ethical issues, and intellectual honesty.

Assignment details

Being a student right now is hard! It can be challenging to ensure that you have time and space to complete your work for class, when you don't have the accountability of always attending face-to- face class or the luxury of going out to find a workspace. A 9-unit course, such as this one, is designed to require approximately 9-12 hours per week of student work. This assignment asks you to think through a plan for claiming time and space to do that.

 Content

  • Write approximately one paragraph describing when, where, and/or how you expect to be able to do work for this course. You might address...

 

  • Will you be able to attend the synchronous "in-class" activities? Will you need to watch recorded lectures to catch up?

 

  • Do you need to coordinate with someone you live with to make time for your coursework?

 

  • What space will you use, and how can you make that space comfortable and ergonomic?

 

  • How's your internet? Will you need a strategy for connectivity? What will that strategy be?

 

  • We're likely to do a lot of small-group remote work; this is easier when people have their video on. Is your coursework space one where sharing the background will feel okay?

  • Can you make small changes (like hanging a blanket or sheet) to help? Will you need to find extra time to make sure you're dressed enough for class?

 

  • If you are taking a mix of face-to-face and remote classes, consider how you will get between CMU campus and home, especially if "home" is not a campus residence!

 

It's okay to keep some of these details vague in your final submission if you are not  comfortable sharing your personal situation; on the other hand, research on goal-setting finds that the more specifically you think through challenges and solutions, the more likely you are to be successful. And sharing some of the challenges you anticipate will help the teaching team plan appropriate accommodations. We also may be able to offer advice, suggestions, and strategies.

Format

  • This assignment should be 1-2 paragraphs, typed in a reasonably professional font/style, and submitted to Canvas as a .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf file (pdf is preferred).
  • Please format it with your name and the title of the assignment ("Remote Learning Success Plan") at the top of the first page.

 Evaluation

This assignment will be graded as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The following criteria will help to assign a grade.

 A paper earning Satisfactory will:

  • Completely and clearly answer the prompt or question.

 

  • Be within the length guideline, and otherwise meet the Format requirements.

 

  • Be written in complete sentences, well-organized paragraphs, and following a clear structure.

 

  • Have minimal spelling/grammar/mechanics errors (fewer than 2 per page).

 

 Any of the following will cause a paper to earn Unsatisfactory:

  • The paper is not in one of the specified file formats.

 

  • The paper does not consist of a good-faith effort to answer the prompt or question.

 

A paper that is Unsatisfactory for one of these reasons will be returned without constructive feedback.

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