« SurveyStats Projects For Evaluations (Class only please) »

We're Not Done Yet!

  01/18/19 15:06, by Hannah

Okay, so the truth is that this wasn't the greatest probs and stats class we could've had. Attendance was flying low and projects were being shoved under the rug, but I'm not going to get into that. So my point here is that I want to end this class with some dignity.

If our class can make it, we will have
4 project presentation days on Tuesdays and Thursdays during resource for the next two weeks. Hopefully, we can meet in the Farside for the presentations. Those who have presented and whoever hasn't presented their presentations should both present on these days.
After each presentation, we will write down a rating for each project and then give them to the presenter at the end of the meeting or presentation.
Whoever doesn't make it to presentation days won't get to rate the projects being presented on that day.
If this is all done, then the actual ratings will have some thought put into them.

I hope this sounds reasonable.
Also, John is the one who came up with this so if you have any doubts or questions you can either ask him or you can talk to me.


Comment from: [Member]

That sounds reasonable to me.

01/18/19 @ 15:12
Comment from: [Member]

I agree with Isaac, this sounds like a really good idea.

01/18/19 @ 15:18
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks Hannah — indeed sounds reasonable.

Two other thing that is a necessary requirement (and reasonable requirement) from all class members seeking this this extension :

Two 200 (or more) word essay/reflections due before next Tuesday for any class members wanting to exercise Hannah’s option of presentation/evaluation extensions.

A. What would have made this specific group class better — what are the factors that lead to this classes failure(s)? (Do not blame yourself or others — reflect on what factors within the school/class structure/class practice that allowed/caused the casualness (disinterested attendance and inferior project quality and timeliness ) at the root of this class’ failure)

B. What, in these extension presentations, would constitute a failed project (and or failure for the semester from any individual member). Be reflective on this important question (the class has defined this once before and ended up failing every member). One dibilitating problem for any student/class is in inability to define failure. If you cannot define failure well you cannot succeed.

Those students who post their essays by Tuesday 7pm as an attachment to this post will be eligible to participate in this option.

Those that do not post both essays by Tuesday 7pm will not.

(I, John, reserve the right to judge any essay as unacceptable. As many in this class have proven clearly that they had little sense of what work is acceptable and what work is thoughtless, perfunctory, dilatory, or insipid, will enforce a minimum standard strictly. If either of your essays is judged unacceptable by me, you may be able to re-write BOTH essays at 500 words but more likely I will bar you from consideration for this second consideration. Take your job seriously as both a student with responsibilities to a class AND as a student trusted to evaluate yourself and others this time around. If you have no idea what could be considered acceptable, post you essays on your personal page before and I will tell you if your essay is acceptable)

01/18/19 @ 16:51
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks Hannah! That sounds good. I am ok with John having power of judgment for this specific circumstance.

01/19/19 @ 00:03
Comment from: [Member]

Rowan (and all of Laurel school)

I work long and hard for one purpose — to shift the power of education from the “teacher” to the individual in the class/school.

To shift the power from an established curriculum or structure to curriculum and structure agreed to and maintained by the individuals of a given class

To shift the powerfully ingrained idea of school as work away from punch a clock rote quantity to a discovered quality that comes from individuals gathered and fired by their interests alone — a profound power transfer from having to do work for someone else to wanting to take on challenge and responsibility as an end in itself

To shift the power from the simple and fixed to the flexible — to empower classes and ideas for classes to change and morph and invigorate as they progress (or digress) and to empower class leaders to fight (against their own doubts and frustrations) for good ideas against the many who demand or hide in the deadly trio of all education : simplicity, predictability, and passing grades.

To shift the power of judgment/evaluation from the easy-false certainty of a grade from a teacher to the hard reflection that self evaluation ( this profound skill ), the developed skill that is self evaluation, the honest joy and pride that only hard developed self evaluation can give

To shift the rigid power of acedemic fear and guilt away from unredeemable mistakes to balanced individualized assessment of what I did — for every right, an understood and accepted wrong; for every wrong, an understood and accepted right. If you cannot do anything wrong, you ARE not doing anything right.

All these powers I work to shift to you, Rowan, in a facilitated class.

I don’t want that power you do gladly give to me.

Do you — or does the school — want facilitated classes?

01/19/19 @ 08:24
Comment from: [Member]

Will everyone present all 6 of their projects?

01/20/19 @ 21:12
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, everyone will present all six (or more) of their projects. The presentations shouldn’t need to be too long, just long enough to show what you’ve done and explain the projects.

01/20/19 @ 21:49
Comment from: [Member]

and… why must all six projects be presented, even if some of them already have been?

01/20/19 @ 22:01
Comment from: [Member]

I think that was part of the plan to make sure that people had a fair chance to show the class all of their projects.

01/21/19 @ 00:12
Comment from: [Member]

Sounds like a good plan.

01/21/19 @ 11:47
Comment from: [Member]

So the people who choose this and write the two 200+ word writings and present the rest of their projects as well as grading the others will be receiving credit for this class?

01/21/19 @ 18:14
Comment from: [Member]

To my understanding, yes.

01/21/19 @ 19:05
Comment from: [Member]

Here is a link to my two 200 word reflection/essays on the prompts given from John.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MsqqeO6K2mRiQbiLweqNx8zdzg1GfBeuekQZMz8R0QM

01/21/19 @ 19:06
Comment from: [Member]

So, these writings are due next Tuesday? Or this Tuesday? It says next Tuesday in John’s comment, but I have heard otherwise. Just making sure I’m interpreting this right.

01/21/19 @ 19:22
Comment from: [Member]

I think it means tomorrow.

01/21/19 @ 21:46
Comment from: [Member]
01/22/19 @ 12:32
Comment from: [Member]

Here are my essay/reflections:

01/22/19 @ 14:19
Comment from: [Member]

My two reflection essays:


I made some edits to my writing and not sure if they will update and work with the link

01/22/19 @ 15:40
Comment from: [Member]

My essays.

I do not in any way intend for the standards I wrote to be taken into account by any student when grading projects. This is merely my opinion.

Please say if the link does not work.


01/22/19 @ 16:45
Comment from: [Member]

Celeste writes “there were many things that contributed to the class not running as well as it could have” – and she ably lists the many failures of the class.

This list of failings is not the object of your reflective essay however.

When addressing this class’ failure in your essay part A – all reflections need to address the specifics of this prompt:

A: What would have made this specific group class better — what are the factors that lead to this classes failure(s)? (Do not blame yourself or others — reflect on what factors within the school/class structure/class practice that allowed/caused the casualness (disinterested attendance and inferior project quality and timeliness ) at the root of this class’ failure

Here is chronological progression of class posts below to trace the class failure– reflect not on what the failures were but how a facilitated class in the future at Laurel – with you in this class – can or will avoid these patterns.

Change in class

Deadlines ;
Reminder about deadlines

Second reminder about deadlines

Standards discussion

Second chance to comment on standards

Reminder project presentations

Reminder about project evaluations

Reminder II about project presentations

Reminder III about project presentations

Major Reminder (Reminder IV) about project presentations

Reminder V about project presentations

Finally, student generated response to the impending crisis – look to see how you (as class member responded – or did not respond – to this student initiative)

Last Reminder—Reminder VI – about project presentations


Tangwyn — your description oh the mechanisn of failing — “a 1or 2 average” — is fine but what construes a 1 or 2 grade?

The class has proven that the student grading is wildly inflated — I don’t see how any project will earn a failing grade.

Will we — as a class — allow everybody to Pass? How many of your projects would earn a 2?

Rowan — your reflection on failure — though lofty in sentiment — reflects little of your own personal experience. You argue that “you” (some other person) knows failure before they fail, (if “you” are proud of a project is is not failure) which is an impossible definition of failure for us as class members attempting honest evaluations of your work.

“If the class can recognize one as a failed project, so will the one who had done the project. Failure is when your not proud of your work and you are embarrassed of it.” This is not helpful for judging your projects.

How many of your own projects are failures, why are they failures, and what is to be done about your failures? Your projects represent little statistical insight — should you redo them to correct this flaws? You wrote 1000 words on three chapters of a book, should you read the book?

Are you embarrassed by your own work? You do not appear to be, but should you be? To open yourself to the good AND the bad is reflecting.

Reflection is hard work — self analysis is scary — your reflection doesn’t touch you and is of little value to the class.

Ansel — your link does not work — and your comment that you don’t intend to have standards that are not your opinion is unacceptable ( when the assigned reflection is to examine/define what is failure?

Will you, Ansel, operate under your own standard? Should your projects fail? which one(s) and why?

If you cannot ask these hard questions you cannot answer these hard questions.

01/22/19 @ 17:34
Comment from: [Member]

Since you have addressed our essays, with the comments on what could be better. does this mean you deem our (my) essay unacceptable? Or was it just a comment to say what could have been better?

01/22/19 @ 18:05
Comment from: [Member]

Here are my essays.

A side note:

Everyone is writing about the failures and successes and how they think they can be best dealt with, but as a class we need to decide how we will determine if a project is a failure or not. This could be difficult given everyone is going to write their own opinion. When or how will we decide this?

Please let me know if there is a problem with the link.


01/22/19 @ 18:18
Comment from: [Member]

Reading your essays for meaning, Rowan, I understand from your reflections that the entire class should fail.

I want something you personally learned to go on that includes positives for the future, not a description of how you (and all your classmates) should not receive credit. How will the class decide who will receive credit? Why, given your reflection on how poor the class was (time management, interest, and false evaluations), should anyone receive credit (not to mention you)?

“Seeing a 2/10 on one of your own projects would open up your eyes and realize that it actually was horrible and not beneficial” – by your own admission, seeing a failure might open your (some) eyes – and I agree strongly.

Will you fail yourself Rowan? If are not going to fail yourself, your essays, which will fail you for poor time management, lack of effort and interest, and false evaluations – all of which you participated in fully – are unacceptable.

If you do plan on failing yourself, your essays are acceptable.

This class has the difficult problem of “passing” itself when after – by its own established standards – it failed.

You’ll decide – not me.

01/22/19 @ 18:25
Comment from: [Member]

I will copy my essays below.

I only meant on my comment that I did not expect everyone to follow only my standards and my standards alone.

01/22/19 @ 18:33
Comment from: [Member]

Probability and Statistics Essays
Ansel Brenneman

A. I think that the part of the reason the majority of the Probability and Statistics class failed the class, is because there was a severe lack of communication and accountability. Not to say that this is the only problem, it is just a problem that stands out to me.

From my point of view, the whole concept of completing the 6 projects, was not being taken seriously enough or was clear enough, until halfway through the class when the standards were made. I do not think that enough time or thought was put into the standards than would be ideal. And I think that it would have been better if the standards were not rushed and made in a half of one class period. Than they would hopefully be clearer and would have more meaningful and rewarding elements put into them.

It was very easy to not do adequate work on time and not be accountable for your lack of enthusiasm to attend other than basic sections of class. I think that the mistake was the idea that since the majority of the learning would be done individually and outside of class, it would be acceptable to attend only the basic section of class and work independently for the remainder of the block.

I think that this class would have been better if there were more clear standards made much earlier in the quarter, and if there was a class wide motivation to do so. Also if students would have a blog post where they would post progress they have been made and on what, so that everyone would stay on track much better.

B. A failing project would be a project that is blatantly thrown together at the last minute. This does not necessarily concern the physical appearance of the project. Or course, there will be some projects that look (on the surface) better than others, but that does not mean that it is a better project in the sense of its content or function. It must be evident that the project took at least 1 hour to complete to be a passing project. Some projects will not always have something to show, like a casino game, but you could still spend lots of time making rules and testing the game. You must also have something to show for your project, either something that you can present, or post on the blog, or a summary of some kind to earn a “project credit.”

For a passing project, everyone must also of course have completed all 6 projects, and have posted them on the blog; as well as be approved by all the students in the class and John.

A student should know if one of their projects deserves to fail, so a lack of project quality awareness could have been another factor that contributed to the failing of this class. Also, I think that people cared too much about not hurting their classmates’ feelings rather than grading their projects accurately.

01/22/19 @ 18:44
Comment from: [Member]
01/22/19 @ 18:46
Comment from: [Member]

Ansel, from your posted reflection A,you should not receive credit – true?

Should the rest of the class not receive credit as well?

01/22/19 @ 18:50
Comment from: [Member]

I would think that the majority of the class (including myself) would not receive credit.

But I thought that this extension was a way that we would receive credit.

Am I mistaken?

01/22/19 @ 18:58
Comment from: [Member]

Ansel – what are you seeking credit for? If, indeed, you (or your classmates) do not deserve credit these people should retake the class or redo the assignments.


01/22/19 @ 19:02
Comment from: [Member]

Caspian – You begin

“This Probs and Stats class could have gone a lot better”

SO take the class again.

This Probability and Stats class failed.

Your reflections – which take no personal responsibility ("time management – few are good at it” – no YOU, Caspian, ARE NOT GOOD AT IT) for failure and suggest no possibilities for constructively allowing for passing evaluations – are unacceptable.

Do you not agree?

Write this essays again – 200 words each – and add to the discussion by accepting personal responsibility first and exploring why you, personally, failed..

01/22/19 @ 19:13
Comment from: [Member]

Isaac – your comment “side note” and your reflections do well to hit at the core of our class problem.

How are we to judge individuals when the class as a whole failed on so many levels acknowledged and accepted levels by the class members?

I don’t know.

I only know, what this class decides for itself will go a long way to my understanding if “facilitated classes” have any value (and any reason to keep as part of the Laurel curriculum).

This class loudly argues “No”

Do students want to do the hard work of deciding, forming, maintaining, evaluating and taking constructive responsibility for failures (such as this class)?

I’m not sure anymore.

I’ll be an interested observer to see what the class will decide for itself this second time around. Reading these reflections so far, I hardly think much will change – do you agree?

01/22/19 @ 19:20
Comment from: [Member]

It seems only fair and right that all class members be given another 24 hours as a deadline given the lack of school today – the deadline extended to Wednesday night 7pm


01/22/19 @ 19:45
Comment from: [Member]

On the comment “reading your essays for meaning, Rowan” I will not fail myself. I don’t think that time management should be the turning point of failing as long as you complete them. My time management needs improvement, and I have learned from this but as Isaac said, one screw up doesn’t determine the whole day. You also said that I failed effort and interest, which is a false impression, I enjoyed and was intrigued with every single project I completed, along with the effort I put into them, I spent long amounts of time thinking of the best projects for myself that I would do better off of. Regarding my “false self evalution” I’m not sure what this is. If you believe I deserve a fail, I’m not sure if I can stop you… although I don’t agree.

01/22/19 @ 19:52
Comment from: [Member]

Rowan – read your own reflection!

These are your words and your judgements you are attributing to me – or when you speak of “the class” in your reflection, does this “class” represent others but not yourself?

“When you falsely pass someone’s project when they should have failed it, you are doing much more harm to them than just letting them pass” – these are your words not mine. Did you give out false evaluations or was that other people in the class?

Read your reflection as if it applied to you! (If your reflection does not apply to you, it is not a reflection and you should re-write this essay)

“Seeing a 2/10 on one of your own projects would open up your eyes and realize that it actually was horrible and not beneficial” – these words you have written. Read them!

As a facilitator, if you believe you deserve to pass (even if I disagree and ask you to understand your standards you set for yourself continue low “short, bland and plainly boring” (your words)), I don’t stop you.

Am I doing you, Rowan, a favor?

Do facilitated classes – classes where you do not have somebody telling you what to do and grading what you do – work for you, Rowan?

These are important questions you need to ask yourself; questions that only you can ask yourself and only you can answer.

01/22/19 @ 20:09
Comment from: [Member]

John- I agree that the students that failed (including myself) should retake the class and/or redo the assignments/projects.

01/22/19 @ 21:03
Comment from: [Member]

Let’s do it together Ansel – and enjoy it this time.

You’d really love all these books and we could read them together!

And I think you are a natural for “big data” manipulation, simulations, predictions – the essential of AI (and theworld’s largest companies) – let’s make some money, yo!

01/22/19 @ 21:04
Comment from: [Member]

A few things..

I do not know how we will decide how to evaluate the newly presented projects. Tangwyn had an idea which I mostly liked, although I don’t think anyone would fail on that grading system. If anyone else has ideas they would be greatly appreciated.

John, as far as your comments go about this determining if facilitated classes at Laurel have any value anymore, I think you are overreacting. This was obviously a bad class, but does not determine any other class that may come in the future. It does serve as a wake up call though, we as a school need to work harder in order for this not to happen again.

When you ask, “Do students want to do the hard work of deciding, forming, maintaining, evaluating and taking constructive responsibility for failures", I personally just don’t know how or what you mean by that. What would be an example of “taking constructive responsibility for failures"? It would greatly help to know this.

I agree that many of these reflections just seem to say what has already been said many times over and over. There has not been a clear solution suggested.

I agree with the extended deadline.

Your comments on Rowan’s projects are flawed. In one sense yes, by his reflection he would fail because of poor time management, but you (or anyone else) do not know what he put into or got out of his projects. If he (or anyone, of their own projects) feels they put effort into them and learned from them, they should be the judge of that. We were the ones doing the projects.
Personally, there are definitely some of my projects that I am much more proud of and that I put more thought and effort into than others. I will admit that a few might not even be passable. But the ones I am proud of I am proud of, and that is what personally, for everyone, should be important.

That is just my view as far as it comes to individual projects and class members, it does not solve the problem of the class as a whole.

Now that I have seen Ansel’s comment, I feel like that might be a good idea, just to retake the class. All of this commenting and arguing has been arduous and seems to not be going very far.

01/22/19 @ 21:11
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks Isaac. Good idea Ansel.

So would there be a option to retake the class/assignments this semester or how would that work?

01/22/19 @ 21:16
Comment from: [Member]

John- I think that is a great idea.

It would be awesome to go into the class with knowledge of my shortcomings so that I can make a better class for myself and others.

As well as a better idea of what I enjoy most about Probs and Stats.

01/22/19 @ 21:33
Comment from: [Member]

Here is my essay, I’m sorry it is late, I was at work and couldn’t post it earlier. I understand if I can not attend nor get my credit because of it being late.

What I think I could have done better for our probability and statistics class in the time I had is make every second count, be in every class possible. I feel like everyone (including me) with the exception of a few waited till the last week or so to get projects done. I am at laurel for a few reasons and one of those reasons is self motivation, which I feel only a few people in this class actually had, I did but I waited way too long to show. The factors that caused this class to fail is the lack of motivation, urge to learn and succeed. The standards we made for our class were based on the time we had which I feel was rushed and I did not get enough time to cover everything as thoroughly as I would have liked. I feel as though I failed our class but we also failed each other, I rated other’s projects to the highest instead of doing what was right and rating them to what they actually should’ve been rated to. I feel as though there are many aspects of how this class could have been better and how I could have made it more fun, exciting and meaningful for myself. I know that I am very interested in these subjects (probability and statistics).

With the new expectations I need to be completely straight forward with my peers. I need to judge as if I do not know them, but I also need to think about what a pass project is in their mind. Everyone’s standards are different for themselves yes, but I need to work as a class or a “team” with our standards. I must judge if the projects are worth being called a passing project or not. A project that has been thought out and has had time put into it is worth a pass, depending on how neatly it is done determines if it is a above average, average or low average. There is also a chance of a failed project. A failed project is a project that had no time put into it other then scrappy work to get it done. Another thing about a project that is worthy is not only the project but what you have learned from it and what you can take from it. The main point in me doing these projects was to learn about probability and statistics in the areas I am most interested and what better way is there then doing projects on our own.

01/22/19 @ 21:35
Comment from: [Member]

Isaac – thoughtful comments – thanks.

Facilitated classes are complex and near and dear to my whole concept of education.

Perhaps, however, these classes are too complex.

Think how easier to remove this idea of “facilitated” and replace it with all independent study. I could map-out my time for anybody who wanted an hour and told me what to do. I’d be happy as a clam following the bliss and motivation of individuals.

But Laurel has the ability to do more (and do more with me). If students bind themselves to a facilitated group – much more can be done. There is no doubt many interests levels and energy levels and skill levels and responsibility can join into a successful whole– it has happened many times to GREAT result at Laurel.

Yet facilitated classes happen because students are willing – as a group– to say that to be IN CLASS is a privilege to be earned by what you do outside of class and bring to the class. Facilitated classes happen because students commit to the principle that the interest of a group of students facilitates the interest and motivation of each member of the group. Facilitated classes happen because class leaders do the extra work of holding the standards of the class against the inevitable lull in morale, interest, and effort that will come to every class. Facilitated classes happen because every student who shows up to class wants to be in that class that day and every student takes on their share (notice “their share") of the responsibility for a class working that day.

If there are two students in a semester’s class who do the extraordinary work of being there for every option and every idea and every learning experience you can grow a faciitated class with cool options, experimental ideas, and genuine learning experiences. When there is two, there will be a group to form around them.

But when there a bunch of individuals waiting for a class to give them something, facilitated classes fail spectacularly.

This Probability class failed because no one joined Dylan to be that center of a class – that second other to look for the class first and themselves second. The class like so many indivuals gone to a buffet – got their meal and went away to eat.

A facilitated class is a dinner with friends. Each comes with a dish to pass, ready for sharing and ready for good conversation. I never mind setting the table and cleaning up the dishes when people go home – but why should I do this if nobody wants to try things they don’t eat normally, and, worse, if nobody can count on a dinner being laid, why would anybody bring a dish to share? Groups are fragile things when you embarrass members for doing extra work….

Do students want to do the hard work of deciding, forming, maintaining, evaluating and taking constructive responsibility for a class? I don’t see it clearly.

Yet if there are two students that serve as a rock in any class that class will find interest, meaning, pride, and power in a facilitated group.

Dylan is gone. Independent study is a buffet (you take what you want and go eat it by yourself). Think how simple this would be….

01/22/19 @ 21:43
Comment from: [Member]

Powerful reflection Kali, thanks.

01/22/19 @ 21:51
Comment from: [Member]

Deadline extended again until Thursday 7PM

01/23/19 @ 08:22
Comment from: [Member]

Am I able to rewrite mine? I feel I could write a better one

01/23/19 @ 11:26
Comment from: [Member]

Of course Rowan!

Reflection is most vital when it is an ongoing conversation with yourself (and others)

01/23/19 @ 12:13
Comment from: [Member]

John- I am not sure what you were commenting extactly. Should I rewrite my first reflection on prompt A.

01/23/19 @ 20:03
Comment from: [Member]

Cole — your essays need permission (at least outside school)

Cayleigh – very clear observations of the confusions and over-reach that were at the base of the class design. Two question remain for you (and the future) based on these observations.

a. Is alternative structuring of classes possible? Given the limited time for 50(moving towards 60 students) – if the school does not move to alternative structuring for facilitated classes what options do we have?

The freshmen and sophomores would fill up 4 blocks easily, with English, Mathematics and History – should teacher led/facilitated classes only be for the underclass?

Because this class did not work does not mean that this class could not have worked. Yet your skepticism (if only implied) speaks volumes that “upper” student classes are impossible.

b. You are on the practical pulse of what the Probability and Statistics class most notably failed – self evaluation.

As you rightfully note, the “grading” system did only harm – great projects were undermined by the lack of discerning grading (and great effort mock, when the average “grade” was 9.3 out of10)

The challenge for this class is to unwind this grade inflation –and your suggestion – giving ideas of what is a 1 project, a 4 project, up to a 10 project is an excellent one. (in fact clarifying grade scaling was the purpose of this second essay)

I would suggest the class decide what these numbers mean and define these numbers clearly.

Which leads to the questions – does your class have the conviction to fail any project? How does a failed project equate to a no credit for the semester (given that nearly all students did the minimum 6 projects or below)? If some class member fails one of their projects, do they have any consequence(s)?

The class is weighing more than individual credits for individual students – this class is deciding if students have the ability to evaluate themselves and their peers honestly and fairly.

If student do not have this ability of self evaluation (or do not want this ability or the work involved) the fundamental idea of the school is at stake and the idea of student led group education (facilitated classes) is dead.

If you – as a group – do not want the difficult task of holding yourself (and more importantly your peers) accountable for their work, effort, and quality – then stop the pretense of this middle ground between teacher led and independent study.

01/24/19 @ 15:38
Comment from: [Member]


A: As the school grows, the class size grows – this we cannot avoid.

The Second Block Fall classes was an attempt to build towards this larger future of facilitated classes.

Your reflects are a scathing condemnation of facilitated classes in general. Facilitated classes attempt to expand class participation by allowing student freedom AND demanding student’s ultimately working for the center of the class, in essence, interested students teaching other students from this interest.

For the confusions of every facilitated class these expansions: freedom and learning from INTERESTED peers.

This was a Upper Class – all of you have attended facilitated classes before and yet every corner of this class was misused – particularly freedom (low attendance, silly projects, untimeliness)not balanced by responsibilities, interests, or honest self evaluation.

Do Upper Class benefit from facilitated classes? Does any Laurel student benefit?

The answer – from your – and Cayleigh’s – reflection reads a resounding “No”

B: Your essay – and the majority of the class’ essay of what constitutes a failed– all lack the specificity which will make the class’ upcoming job – evaluating each other’s projects a pleasant task. Besides late and slapdash projects – (the majority – note there are posted deadlines that can be used for lateness) what about projects that have little understanding of statistics (many)?

What are the consequences of a failed project or failed projects – No Credit?

Objective standards are set up so that evaluation is fair; objective standards are changed when the original standards proved less than fair. Now that your class has lost all sense of objective standards – (is the only fair standard one where every project passes?) – you should have a conversation (given that objective standards have failed this class repeatedly) of what a fair result could be so that every student could demonstrate their learning and interest and not suffer from suddenly strict gradings.

The time for honest gradings is passed – the class needs a way to now be fair.

So – as suggestion – for example– if I were facilitating this unwinding of these projects, class, and credits I would suggest.

As part of student presentations students do three things:

a. Define in each of their projects the best part and the worst part
b. Define in each of their projects what they learned or value and how another similar project from another student taught them something of value.
c. Students grade their own projects publicly and explicitly from 1 - 10 - all viewing students respond with a “higher” if they think the student graded their individual project too low or “Lower” if the student’s grade was too high for the value. (I think this method will enable more honest and useful feedback.)

01/24/19 @ 16:37
Comment from: [Member]

I rewrote my reflection essays:

I tried writing this many different times and ways so it may be a little confusing. I still agree with lots of the points in my first writings but reading all the comments from John and everyone’s writings has opened up my eyes.


01/24/19 @ 17:41
Comment from: [Member]

Here are my reflections on the class:

A. The failure that I saw (and was a part of) came from two locations. The first being the optional sections of the class. These were fun and interesting section that were murderously underused. The most I ever saw at one of these class was six people. This showed a major disinterest in the productivity of the class as well as in the subjects as a whole. I understand that people want to focus on there own interests, but to not venture out is rude to the rest of the class. If class members were required to attend at least one of the multi-week optional sections, interest in the class would have been greater.
The second area was in the projects. When these were first brought up at the beginning of the class they seemed like an easy, push aside, assignment. This is what, at least for me, lead to the untimely turn-in of projects. This caused a snowball effect that resulted in projects being of a lackluster quality. The minimal pressure to produce a heart feld on time projects was what drove the failure of this class. With that lack of pressure, whether from a facilitator or classmates, helped fuel the laziness of this class.
With more and more students wanting to take the same classes there need to be alternatives to instruction. The two best examples of this were Juniper’s Health class and Cedella’s English class. With so many kids and only a limited amount of teaching time students need to help run a class or completely lead one independently.
If as a class we can come up with multiple ways receiving information in a class this can reduce the pressure on John, Lynne, and Renee. Without these options readily available I feel that another failure like ours is inevitable.

B. The grading we initially had for projects was destined to fail. There was no way for a project to be failed, only not presented. The inability to fail someone opens the gate for meaningless grading. I gave up on grading the projects at the end of the semester because I felt that I was doing a disservice to the projects and their creators. A successful project is one that takes a person’s interests or passions and uses the class to display them. Aly’s hockey presentations are a good example of this. Projects like the coin flip and other in class, slap together projects should be failed. When we rate projects a scale of ten works, but we need to have a failing line. There was no sign of this in our standards. A rating of a five or worse should be failed. Our grade inflation still would have allowed each project to pass.
When grading I felt obligated to try and have every project, and person, pass the class. This lead to me over inflating my scoring of peoples projects. Having a standard of projects to check others against would help reduce this issue. There was also a large amount of pressure on people to quickly rate projects. If projects are spaced out in a timely manner there would be less of a rush and more honest ratings.
This class needed to acknowledge failure as an option. We failed to due so and that hurt this class tremendously.

01/24/19 @ 18:07
Comment from: [Member]

Emery I like it but one thing- some of the people’s coin flipping projects were well done in my opinion and I am pretty sure were suggested to do as a project because many people did them (I could be wrong). And besides that a lot of people put a twist in theirs like mine where I created a excel program to flip the coins for me hense learning programming on google sheets and graphing large ammounts of data (hundreds of coin flips). Maybe this would be a failed project but from my perspective (for example my project) I learned a lot from it and it sparked interest in excel and it was my mistake not to attend the optional classes- for excell if any other- and pursue that passion down. That’s where I failed.

01/24/19 @ 18:14
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, I agree with you John. Here are the new essays. I kept the previous two essays for you to read though, because even though they don’t address me specifically, they answer some of the questions that were in the prompts. They also have some, of what I consider, good answers to your questions. The new essays are the ones after the first two. I do not know if they are what you wanted, but I tried, and here they are:


01/24/19 @ 18:42
Comment from: [Member]

Rowan I understand the point you are making. You are giving a good example of putting your heart and interest into a project. Thank you for the feed back.

01/24/19 @ 19:26
Comment from: [Member]

I think John’s grading scale is a good idea. It is fair and will give the rest of the class a good idea of what went into the project so it will be easier to grade.

For anyone who missed his post here it is.

“As part of student presentations students do three things:

a. Define in each of their projects the best part and the worst part
b. Define in each of their projects what they learned or value and how another similar project from another student taught them something of value.
c. Students grade their own projects publicly and explicitly from 1 - 10 - all viewing students respond with a “higher” if they think the student graded their individual project too low or “Lower” if the student’s grade was too high for the value. (I think this method will enable more honest and useful feedback.)”

01/25/19 @ 08:52
Comment from: [Member]

I did not see this post until today but I did the two 200 words right away. Here they are:

01/25/19 @ 11:43

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