Friday, March 21, 2008

The mid-term project, in my opinion, was impossible. First, I didn't get any help from the reviewer in terms of what to fine tune. Second, it is very hard, for me at least, to work with such a vague description of what needed to be done. I believe, going in, that this project was about demonstrating some aspect of the class and what we had learned. I put a ton of effort into my project and tried to make it entertaining while also staying close to the design laid out in the choose your own adventures I have read. I really wish I was given the suggestions I got for my final draft on my first, then maybe I could have worked on it. I believe it is more than a bit unfair the grading system and way in which this way handled. I have never been a C student and I didn't put forth a C effort. This basically makes me feel like I should give up on this class or withdraw, I'm sure the final will be just as unclear.....


Dan said...

Hey there,

This appears to be a public post, so I suppose my input is also somewhat requested. I would not worry about the C, because if you have been participating, doing your formal and informal blogs you should be at a high B range - at the vest least. If you do well this half of the semester and on the final you can get an easy B or even an A! So don't panic just yet. Secondly, maybe this would work for you but I went to see Dr. Adams in his office hours and he gave me a lot of hints and advice and it helped a lot.

I did not do as well as I anticpated either, but I think it was my fault. I am already thinking about a final now and hoping to be able to work out a strong topic early so I can have a really good rough draft done in a few weeks. That would mean I can really rock the final copy of the final and go home with an A for the summer.

If your review partner was not satisfying remind me in class and I will make sure to read your rough draft and help you out with it if I can.

Anyway, do not be discouraged - not all hopes are lost :)

Dan said...

By the way, my lack of comas makes this a difficult read, kind of like Leotard (sp?).

Dan said...

Also - Talk to Dr.Johns personally and see what advice he can give you. He was very helpful when I asked him about my project and I am sure he would help you, too.

Brian said...

I am glad to hear that i am not the only person disappointed with my grade. I definitely don't think that my grade reflects the incredible amount of time and effort that i put into my project. I am not a very strong writer so it took even more effort then would be typical of an assignment like this.
I found the assignment way to open ended which lead to me making up my own assignment. I listened to people's questions and responses in class and gleaned some sort of knowledge of what was expected but still felt in the dark. A common comment on my CYOA project was that some of the examples and descriptions were threadbare and underdeveloped. It is hard to balance the amount of description and full development of an example when you are basically trying to write 30 or so separate books with different plots.
I think that a clearer syllabus or description of what is expected for each kind of project would have lead to a higher grade and more of what is expected.

Dan said...

So do just that on the final and you will rock an A in the class. Make sure you talk to Dr.Johns he is really nice and very helpful. He will guide you to success :)

Adam Johns said...

I had a serious internal debate about how to respond to this. Should I delete it? Should I ignore it, and just email Brian? Should I use it as a vehicle to respond to others who might have similar frustrations?

I'm not deleting it, at least not for a few days (unless Brian asks me to, of course), and I am emailing Brian.

For anyone who doesn't like their grades, or who feels that they were graded unfairly, I have some fairly obvious advice - actually, Dan covers it well.

1) Come and talk to me! At the worst, it can't hurt.

2) Look at your own project _critically_. Look again at my comments on your draft - how well did you respond to them. Did your project have a clear and ambitious agenda, or purpose? If it was a creative project, did it clearly aspire to do _more_ work than comparable critical projects (as I said clearly and repeatedly that creative projects should)? How does it compare with your peers' work?

An A, by definition (or anyway, the way my department expects me to define it - and yes, there are consequences if I don't do this) is clearly superior to most other work in the class. A B, by definition, is very good. A C, by definition, is acceptable college-level work.

One more thing: I think I made a mistake by not asking for a formal project proposal for the midterm project. That's going to be part of the final project, and I hope that going through an additional step will help everyone clarify their final projects earlier.

Adam Johns said...

One more thing to add: recall that I said repeatedly that expectations would be higher, not lower, for creative projects, and that nobody should ever do a creative project as a default option, or because it was easier - because I didn't intend it to be easier.

This doesn't mean that any of you shouldn't discuss your grades with me, or question them -- but I did make that particular expectation clear, and I thought I'd better remind everyone of that fact. Creative projects are harder, not easier, and I've never pretended otherwise.

One Last Caress said...

Life sucks... to sum it up: work smart -- not hard, keep your ears open, and when in doubt... talk to the professor. Johns was explicitly clear about the project... as in it really didn't have any bounds. Johns also explicitly stated to choose an analytical paper over a creative project. I still suggest talking to the teacher -- instead of posting it on a blog.

Also, listen to Dan. DON'T PANIC. Withdrawing from a class at this point isn't wise and, if you're putting in the effort, all hope isn't lost.

One more thing... I hate to say this, but honesty is the best policy... did anyone think about how many "choose your own adventure stories" have been done before (as midterm projects)??? In this class we're exploring and analyzing new mediums of story telling. You don't need to be a raconteur, however going down a highly beaten path isn't going to lead to any new territories.

Oh last thing... seriously. Hard work doesn't always pay off. If you really felt like you put some elbow grease into your project, you should re-evaluate the way you're expending your creative energy. I'm being very serious... learn from it. Talk to Johns and see what he didn't like about your project.

I've been in your same shoes. I went to the teacher and said "What do I need to do to get an 'X' in this class?" (a B+ if you're curious). He told me what to do, I did it, and I got the grade.