Starfish—Rowan Success Network

White Papers

You guys (many of you) rock! I’m very happy with the quality of the White Papers I’m seeing this afternoon. Many of you are demonstrating significant engagement with your topics and theses. The work you’ve done so far, of course, is shreddable, but I’m heartened by the quality and thoroughness of many of these admirable but entirely improvable drafts.


Blank Papers

That good news is diluted by the woeful compliance of the group as a whole. Fewer than half of my now 43 students have published a White Paper as of 4pm today, TUE OCT 13, four hours past the deadline. That means half of you are in default.

  • Some of the missing White Papers are from students whose Proposals+5 I have seen, so I have some idea what you’re working on.
  • For those of you who have submitted neither Proposals nor White Papers, I am completely in the dark about your plans and am forced to conclude that you don’t have any idea what to research.
    • As deep as we are into this semester, and with so little time remaining, I am very worried about students who do not have a plan.
    • You should be, too.


Starfish Reporting System

The college requires faculty to complete surveys in advance of the Midterm Grades to indicate how students are progressing. I’ve received notice that those surveys are now due. I’ll complete them Friday.

  • GREAT JOB. If you’ve attended all but a couple of our classes and turned in almost all of your assignments, I’ll report that you’re doing a “Great Job!” It doesn’t mean you’re tracking for an A+; it means you’re making reasonable progress and that I endorse your performance.
  • POOR ATTENDANCE. If you’ve missed more than 3 of our first 10 classes, I’ll report “Poor Attendance.”
    • (That would amortize as 9 out of 30, which grades as failure.)
  • POOR PERFORMANCE. If you’ve posted only a few of our 9 postable assignments, I’ll report “Poor Performance.”
  • NO PROPOSAL, NO WHITE PAPER. If you’ve posted neither a Proposal+5 nor a White Paper, even if you are fairly current on other assignments, I’ll report “Poor Performance” because of my reasonable worry that you’re not ready to engage with semester’s primary assignment.
  • GRADE BELOW C. If your assignments are current but your work is sloppy, incomplete, rich with errors, or of very low quality, I will report “Overall Grade Below C.”

Can You Hear Me?

The college, like me, wants an “early warning” system to send a notice to students who think they have all the time in the world to complete their semester projects. I embrace this program as an excuse to poke those of you who need to sit up straight and aim your minds directly at your research at least long enough to convince your professor that you’re at work. Do I have your attention?


Good Time to Reach Out

You know how to reach me. If you’re afraid you’ll receive a negative report and want to convince me you don’t deserve one, by all means let me know immediately. I respond very generously to all student contact. (It’s those who don’t tell me what’s going on that I can’t support.)

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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