Evolution for Educators: Week 3 Progress Report

Last week, I resolved not to wait so late to do my coursework.  I was partially successful in that.

This week, in addition to our normal material and weekly quiz, I was required to provide peer review for the writings of a minimum of 3 other students.  Many of the papers that I reviewed talked about the same example: glyptodont(s) and armadillos.  That was exactly what I did not want to do on mine.  At least I hoped that those reviewing my essay were reading something more original.  I reviewed 10 essays.  Most were pretty short and not as descriptive or as deliberate. It was apparent that the level of skill and scientific knowledge varied widely among the students.  I was happy to note that none forgot to cite their sources!  Most did a reasonable job.  We were provided with a series of drop-down boxes to provide our “evaluation”–certain numbers of points for different criteria; for example, “Explained the example well in a scientifically sound manner” was 4 points, “Explained the example, but did not demonstrate sound scientific reasoning” might have been worth 2 points, and “did not explain the example” was 0 points.  Overall, the assignment was worth 11 points.  I wonder how I did?  I won’t find out until the Week 4 material is released.  I’m a little nervous, as usual.  I tried to provide feedback on all the ones I evaluated–with words and analysis and explanations of why I assigned the values I did.  I hope I get actual feedback, and I appreciated that we had the opportunity to do that.

However, I again procrastinated on the actual course material… and wasn’t feeling well at all.  I must admit that being able to do your coursework from a hot bath and/or bed is a definite plus to online courses.

I should mention that I’m enrolled in another MOOC simultaneously, and I did NOT get the required work done on time for the 2nd course; I will have a 10% grade penalty imposed for the late work.  I accept that–and I think I will start using that in my own classes!  It’s a one-time penalty, but it does get the point across.


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