LEARNING in the TIME of COVID
I recognize that we are all living through a global pandemic and an intense time of social movements for justice. Both have far reaching and very personal implications. My classes are designed to be collaborative, where learning happens because of the perspectives, experiences, and knowledge that we all bring.
Compassion and flexibility will help us all get through this semester together. I’ll check-in with you all periodically, and am open to hearing how you are doing and what might help you get through the course in a way that feels satisfactory to you and supports your well-being. If you tell me you’re having trouble, I won’t judge you or think any less of you. I hope you extend me and your fellow classmates the same consideration.
Everything we do in the course ties back to the learning goals, building content knowledge and skills. To help you plan enough time to complete different tasks, the class will be broken up into 2 week units. Each unit will follow this sequence:
- Week 1
- Readings and kickstart activity (Learning Goals 1, 2)
- Lab (Learning Goals 3, 4, 5, 6 – Due Sundays, 11pm)
- Week 2
- Readings and kickstart activity (Learning Goals 1, 2)
- Source Annotations (Learning Goals 2, 3, 5 – Due Thursdays, 11pm)
- Unit reflection (Learning Goals: varies by week – Due Sundays, 11pm)
Grades in this course are weighted. To understand how this works, see this explanation.
- Labs and Source Annotations: 35%
- Unit Reflections: 25%
- Discussion, Participation, and Feedback to Peers: 25%
- Final Project and Project Presentation: 15%
FINAL PROJECT and PRESENTATION: This project will be in the format of your choosing, and will take a topic from class and creatively expand on it. For example, if you wanted to highlight women’s experiences, you could find 3 additional primary sources and create a digital exhibit in PowerPoint with labels for why they’re important artifacts and what we can learn from them.
I’ll provide models and rubrics to help clarify scope and expectations for the project, and you’ll have several weeks to draft and refine your projects with feedback from peers and myself. The presentation will be a chance to show a polished draft of the project, but you will still have time to make small edits to the project after the presentation if you wish.
LATE WORK: No late work will be accepted. Instead, I will drop your lowest 2 scores for each category of assignment, except the final project and presentation.
Date & Time of Final Reflection
Due online by December 18, 2020 at 12pm.
SYNCHRONOUS CLASS MEETINGS
We’ll meet Mondays and Wednesdays 1-2pm on Zoom. Details for how to connect are in D2L — this is to prevent Zoom-bombing from non-Normandale people.
You’re welcome to connect to Zoom on a computer/laptop or by phone. Video is optional. There is research that shows that video during online classes can help build the kind of connection that happens in face-to-face classes. And there’s also research that shows that requiring video can negatively affect student comfort because it collapses boundaries by making personal spaces visible, and could be a drain on bandwidth. During our class meetings, expect me to facilitate Q/A with the full group, recap material, and give very short lectures (less than 15 minutes). There will also be small group conversations and activities in breakout rooms where video may aid communication, but I won’t require it.
I’ll open the Zoom call around 12:45pm and you’re welcome to join early if you’d like to make sure your connection is solid or chat.
Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. If you are comfortable doing so, please let me know what you need. This will enable me to share and connect you with resources.
ACCESS and ACCESSIBILITY
It is my goal to facilitate a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the format, materials, or requirements of this course, please meet with me outside of class so we can explore potential options. Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Office for Students with Disabilities to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. Appointments are available by calling the OSD staff at 952-358-8625, emailing email@example.com, or stopping by the L2751 office. If you have already been approved for accommodations, please meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request.
As a student, you may experience mental health issues that interfere with functioning and daily activities. Free appointments for mental health assessment and therapy are available. At your appointment, you may wish to address concerns such as depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance use issues, eating disorders, body image, bipolar disorder, PTSD and ADHD. Appointments are with Normandale’s Licensed Mental Health Providers. Call 952-358-8261 or visit the reception desk in the Advising Center (P0806) to make an appointment with a licensed professional.
More information on mental health services at Normandale are available online.
In addition, you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, feeling sad or stressed, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of motivation. These problems may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. Normandale Counselors are available to meet, free of charge, to discuss your concerns. Call 952-358-8261 or stop by the Advising Center (P0806) to make an appointment with one of our Faculty Counselors. There is also a website for various community resources that provide mental health counseling.
PREGNANCY and PARENTING
Normandale Community College does not discriminate against any student based on pregnancy or related conditions. Pregnant or parenting students who anticipate class absences or have lab or course concerns should meet with the Title IX Coordinator to develop a plan, which may require consultation with a medical provider. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Debbie Tillman (L2755), at 952-358-8623 or Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment for assistance. The Pregnant and Parenting FAQ is available online.
ACCOMMODATION of RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
Normandale Community College strongly supports the diversity of the beliefs and religions represented by our student body. The College will provide reasonable flexibility when religious observances occasionally conflict with academic obligations such as class attendance, activities, assignments, examinations and other course requirements. Students must inform instructors of such conflicts in advance and in a timely manner. Students remain responsible for all class work and other academic obligations missed as a result of their absence. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request.
What does academic integrity mean in this course? I start with the assumption that students aren’t cheating. The class focuses on collaborative learning and skill building, not memorization and testing of facts. In this style of class, academic integrity means that when you reference or rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of a task, you will give full credit in the proper form as discussed in class. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Discussion is encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt, please reach out to me for guidance and clarification before posting or responding to a classmate.
**Syllabus credits: I drew ideas and language from a course I co-taught with Nate Sleeter and Kelly Schrum. Course guidelines and policies were heavily influenced by Jack Norton’s Spring 2020 world history syllabus. I’m grateful for feedback from Jeri Wieringa on the digital project scaffolding.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Statement
Normandale Community College, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and Federal and State law require that a student makes satisfactory academic progress towards a degree or certificate to attend the College and remain eligible for financial aid. The standards, briefly described below, are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment.
Minimum Academic Standards:
- Grade Point Average: cumulative GPA must be 2.00 or higher.
- Completion Percentage: students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 66.66% of all courses attempted
Note regarding Last Date of Attendance (LDA): Federal law requires faculty to report students who never show up or who stop attending class. This report automatically assigns a failing grade to the student and may cause a recalculation in student’s financial aid award, possibly requiring the student to return funds already received.