Goals & Grades


The primary goals for the course are the following:

  • foster critical thinking, reading and writing
  • develop an understanding concerning Culture (and Race) and the Environment
  • develop an understanding of inquiry — how do we create questions that will enable a creative pursuit of answers to complex questions
  • we will learn about collaboration, cooperation and collective intelligence

This will be accomplished online (course web site and blog), in class discussions, which will also use writing as a means to thinking and learning, speaking and the writing of formal essays.

Another important goal of this course is to ensure students transition well into the Middlebury community.  We will discuss, then, your experiences on campus as a group and in one-on-one meetings.


Your grade will be determined by the following:

Active Participation:  15% (includes class discussions, online (blog), writing in class and in workshops

Blog:   15% (includes frequency and depth of posts, when assigned, and responses to posts)

Active Engagement w/ Readings: 10%

Formal Writing/Essays: 60%

In this process, the “A Student” is engaged actively, is prepared for class, is timely with assignments; this student also writes clearly and effective and is working to raise the bar of her own writing.  The “B Student” will engage with the work responsibly and is above average.  And the “C Student” comes to class, completes assignments in class, even participates in class, but shows little effort and is less inclined to work in-depth; performance, then, is inconsistent.