Because this course covers far too much varied material to make it reasonable to base grades entirely on the large exams, there will be daily quizzes which will also test your memory of the reading material. Together they count as much as one of the large exams (each is worth a little more than half a point). These will be simple, short-answer questions for the most part, normally selected from the questions listed with that day's reading assignment. There may seem to be a lot to learn, but these questions are in fact intended to help you narrow your focus down to the issues and facts which your professor feels are most important. They should make studying the text much easier. For purposes of the daily quizzes, you should have memorized answers to the five questions for that day's assignment which are marked with an asterisk [*] before coming to class. The answers to the remaining questions you are expected to be able to use in writing answers on the three large examinations. Students who are exceptionally curious and ambitious for high grades will also want to read the optional readings and prepare answers to the questions linked to them. Some of these topics will be covered in more detail in lecture; others you are expected to learn from your reading alone. The traditional standard of a minimum of two hours of homework outside of class for each hour in class should be adequate for most students, but a quick skimming will definitely not be adequate for this class.
Because the quizzes are the most accurate gauge of your participation in the class, you must pass a minimum number of them. Anyone failing or not taking more than 20 of the quizzes will receive in "F" in the course.
The quizzes are also a method of measuring class participation, including attendance. For that reason--and because such behavior is disruptive and rude--students are not allowed to come to class just to take the quiz and leave. If you have a valid excuse for not coming to class, talk to me or the TA so that you can make up the quiz later. (Valid excuses include illnesses, family emergencies, etc., but not just being busy.) You are responsible for contacting the teaching assistant immediately upon your return to make up the quiz when you have an excused absence; make-ups for absences which occurred for a longer time in the past will not be allowed. If you will have to leave class early for an unavoidable reason, always inform the teacher or the TA ahead of time, or your quiz will not be counted. Quizzes may occur at the beginning or ending of any class, or both.
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