Weekly Assignment Instructions

by John Bandler

Many weekly assignments are contained within a Word document you can download and rename.

If you are looking for instructions regarding phases in the Final Paper Project, see those links below.

There are usually instructions within that weekly assignment Word document, and possibly a link to this page. I may gradually reduce the detail on the instructions within the Word document, and maintain a full set of instructions here.

In sum

In sum, remember the goals of these weekly assignments -- for you to put in effort and learn. So put in good effort, work on your own, do the reading, pay attention in class (or to the videos), spend a reasonable amount of time on the assignment.

Goal

The goal of these weekly assignments is your learning. Please ensure you have put substantial time and effort to do the assigned reading, pay attention in class, for the video or whatever other learning is available. Read the questions carefully and respond thoughtfully. Of course, always do your own work and put in your own effort, because that is the only way to learn and gain confidence in yourself. Proofread and edit your writing, this is practice to improve how you write.

Multiple choice questions would be quicker for everyone, but with lowered learning value.

Instructions

The current, updated instructions are something like the following

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Revised 1/20/2023 by John

Instructions

  • See the most updated instructions at https://johnbandler.com/weekly-assignment-instructions
  • Download and save this document to your computer and use this document as a template to build your assignment.
  • Rename this document to give your submission document a helpful filename.
    e.g., STUDENTNAME Assignment XX ChXX 2023-xx-xx [use current chapter and current date]
  • Save and submit as a doc, docx, pdf, or text file.
  • Do your own work. Don't collaborate or share with anyone in anyway.
  • Follow your personal honor code and the school honor code.
  • Do not seek assistance from others, nor provide assistance to others.
  • Add a line break after the question before you start your answer.
  • Type your answer after each question. Do not copy and paste your answer from anywhere. Type each character yourself.
  • Make sure you understand and can explain what you wrote.
  • Work alone, do not collaborate with others, do not share questions or answers.
  • This assignment probably calls for short answers, sometimes just a word or a list, sometimes a few full sentences. Look for clues in the question
    • "name", or "list" means list it, name it. Full sentences are not needed. Try to memorize the answer.
    • "Briefly summarize" or "explain" requires a few properly edited full sentences reflecting your thoughts. The sentences should "stand on their own" and not require the reader to refer back to the question.
    • If you are confused or unsure, do your best, and explain as needed.
  • This is open book, use your notes, the coursebook, or the course readings. Always start with course readings and resist the urge to consult Google's magic result.
  • These assignments are a learning aid for you, writing practice, an evaluation aid, and a way for us to communicate regularly.
  • Delete these instructions before submission for a clean submission.

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First and last question

The first question is always something like this:

  1. I hereby state upon my personal honor and upon the school's honor code that I did not gave nor receive any assistance regarding this assignment, and nor will I do so in the future. I did not and will not collaborate in any way. I did not receive any answers from anyone or anywhere. I did not and will not share the questions with anyone, in anyway. Write "I do" if true, or explain if needed.

A main point of this is that your personal honor and personal learning should be more important than just trying to do a effortless submission, or trying to get a quick easy decent grade.

The last question is always something like this:

  • Ask me a question, make a comment, or respond to a prior question I had asked you. Or just share something with me, even if it is not related to this course. (Don’t leave this blank, because this is part of the assignment).

You can tell me whatever you want to tell me, give me positive encouragement, helpful feedback, answer a supplemental question or extra credit question, suggest an improvement to the reading, point out a typo or mistake, let me know about any life issues, or just say hi.

Frequently asked questions

Well, maybe not frequently for all of them. Maybe once for some, or never. But here you go:

  • How much time should I spend?
    • If you are ripping through it in 15 minutes or a half hour, you are probably not spending enough time on it. If you are explaining something or expressing your thoughts in a single sentence, that's probably not enough.
    • If you are writing a book each week and taking 6 hours on it, that's probably too much.
    • Effort, quality, learning are the goals.
  • I don't know what you are looking for when you ask what I think about "X", or what my opinion is on "Y", What's the right answer to put down?
    • This is your place to develop some thoughts, even opinions, and express them in your own words, thoughtfully.
  • I see your feedback on a full-sentence response said "Make sure your answer stands on it's own", what does that mean?
    • It means the reader should be able read your answer, without reading the question, and your answer stands on it's own, and doesn't require reference back to the question.
  • Some questions say just to "list" or "name", does that mean that answer doesn't have to be in a full sentence?
    • Yes. Easy, right?
  • Some questions say to explain, summarize, or say what I think. Do I need to write in full proof-read sentences for those questions?
    • Yes
  • Can't we just skip the homework assignments?
    • Sorry, it is something we need to do
  • Wouldn't it be easier if everyone got the same grade, for every submission, no matter the quality of the submission?
    • Maybe, but not sure that is good for learning
  • How come I lost points? I submitted it on time.
    • On time submissions that are excellent get full points. I need to deduct points if it falls below that, and see these guidelines and my feedback.
  • Can I resubmit for a higher grade?
    • No, sorry. It wouldn't be fair other others and to me. We need your first submission to be your best submission.
  • I copied without attribution on an assignment or discussion, and I got a grade of zero (or one), and here's the extenuating circumstances, and can I resubmit or get partial credit?
    • No, sorry. It wouldn't be fair other others and to me. We need your first submission to be your best and own work.
    • Where consistent with fairness, course rules, and school rules, failing the assignment can be an appropriate sanction.
    • But also remember it need not be the only sanction. Please see course and school rules to see that consequences of plagiarism can include failing the assignment, failing the course, and academic discipline up to and including expulsion.

The footer notation

The document footer says something like this:

  • John Bandler’s weekly assignment is copyright John Bandler with all rights reserved.  https://johnbandler.com/
  • This is for individual student use only. Students should do their own work and not assist others.
  • In addition to copyright restrictions, disseminating questions or answers in any way is not allowed and would likely violate school rules and be unethical. Instructions are at https://johnbandler.com/weekly-assignment-instructions/

Discussion board

Discussion is usually a weekly requirement, is a "course assignment" but is not called an "assignment" by the learning management system.

Generally, the discussion requirements are:

  • First post by Tuesday 11:59pm.
  • Quality is the goal. Quality over quantity. But aim for about 200 words or see instructions.
  • Thoughtful
  • Your own work
  • Rarely should you need to copy or quote
  • If you copy, you must quote and cite
  • Do your own writing and thinking. (Remember: rarely should you need to copy or quote on a short submission)
  • Discuss and engage with your classmates
  • Learn from them.
  • Help them learn from you.
  • Engage throughout the week. Don't just swoop in and post and never return.
  • Reply posts by Friday 11:59pm (but engage throughout the week). Quality is the goal. Quality over quantity.
  • See the specified number of replies. You could do more than the minimum. Again, quality over quantity.
  • Do it with the goal in mind. Discuss, engage, think, write, edit, learn, share.
  • Doing a google search on terms and then summarizing an internet source is not doing good discussion. Think about it, your classmates can use google too, so why do they need you to do it for them?

Conclusion

Yes, it would save us all a ton of time if I didn't assign anything. But alas, I need to assign things, and they are an aid to your learning.

Having assigned it, it would save me a ton of time if I just gave everyone full credit for any submission. But alas, I need to read them, grade them, hopefully encourage you to do better. And then there are submissions that are a pleasure to read, students who are a pleasure to interact with, they offer insight, new ways of thinking of something, or point out a typo, error, or potential improvement which makes it better for the next iteration.

Most importantly, you are in charge of your own learning, so use the weekly readings, class, videos, discussion, and assignment to help improve yourself by learning the topic area and improving how you read, think, and write.

Links

Posted 1/13/2023 based on years of teaching. Updated 2/3/2023