Course Syllabus

IUHS Cooperative English Sample Syllabus

This course is designed to help you develop your writing, critical thinking and reading skills. All assignments and assessments are aligned to the English 9, 10, or 11 Indiana Language Arts Standards, and each lesson will tell you which standard/s we are tackling. Assignments include reading, writing, and speaking; independent and collaborative work; and low-stakes and high-stakes writing assignments.


Even though this course may look different from what you are used to, it is probably more like a "traditional" brick-and-mortar classroom than most online a good way! We've tried to take the good things about learning in a traditional classroom and bring them into an online environment. So, just as you would have a discussion in traditional classroom--allowing you to understand your classmates' ideas--in our classroom, you will see one another's assignments. The work that you will do in your assignments isn't the kind that is right or wrong, so no one will be able to cheat by looking at your work. Your work will be different from everyone else's, but it will help others to see what you are doing, and it will help you to see what they are doing. It's kind of like working at a table with others who are also engaged in a similar activity. If you get stuck or aren't sure what to do next, you have people around you and you can look to see what they're doing or even ask them for help. (Of course, you have a truly wonderful and highly responsive teacher--ahem!--who will also help you anytime you ask!)
Many of the points for the course just come from your having completed the weekly assignments. That means it's easy to get a very good grade in the class as long as you engage with the work in a genuine way. That will require lots of thinking and writing on your part, but it shouldn't be stressful because it's not "high stakes." You just do your best. There are also tests at the end of each unit (also called a module), and there is the capstone project. The capstone project is worth 10% of your grade, so if you didn't do it at all, you could wind up with a letter grade lower. It's an important task mostly because it gives you a purpose for all the learning you'll do during the course. 
We don't have a textbook, because, quite simply, we don't need one. In an online classroom, we can find plenty of good information open-source (free), which saves you money and hassle. The class is aligned to Indiana's learning standards, so it's not just literature based. Actually, it's very skill-based. It will teach you how to do some new things and how to do some old things better...instead of just having you read literature and write about it, although (of course) we will do some of that, too!



Grade Scale

 97-100            A+

96-93               A

92-90               A-

89-87               B+

86-83               B

82-80               B-

79-77               C+

76-73               C

72-70               C-

69-67               D+

66-63               D

62-60               D-

59-0                 F



Grading breakdown


45%    Weekly Assignments (including, especially, reflective comments)                                                         

45%    Formal assessments (tests and quizzes)                                                  

10%   Capstone project




Reflection Questions

In every lesson, you will complete several activities. Then you will use the "margin commenting" capabilities of Google Docs to demonstrate self-assessment and honest reflection on your learning. Reflection questions are graded all-or-nothing. If you do not complete them thoughtfully, I will award you a zero and tell you to try again. You will find the course much more fulfilling and instructive--as well as far less frustrating!--if you make a genuine effort with the reflection questions the first time through.


Formal assessments

At the end of each module, you will complete a formal assessment, a test, to evaluate your learning.  Tests will be graded in traditional ways, evaluating your answers for correctness. Tests cannot be revised and resubmitted, so be sure you are prepared for them before you take them.


Capstone assignment

Your capstone assignment will be the final product of this course.  You will work on creating it over the next four months’ time.  You will choose your focus during the first module, and you will maintain that focus through the entire course.  Choose well, and follow your heart.


This course is designed to be completed in a standard semester (about 15 weeks). You may not complete it in fewer than 6 weeks. You may not extend your time in the course for longer than 6 months. Please aim to make steady progress: You will learn more and have more fun that way.


An important part of our learning in this course comes from sharing our weekly work. Your work will be visible to other members of our course. However, no grades or private information will be shared during this process. If you prefer, you may identify yourself by first name only in class materials that are visible to your peers. Please be sure that you do not include private information (such as social security numbers or physical addresses)  in your weekly assignments.

Submitting assignments

In order to have your work graded, you must submit a shareable link to your assignment. The first lesson will teach you how to do this. Just remember that, although you may have shared your work with your peers, I will not grade it until it has been submitted to me.