Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Evaluation and Grading

Your grade in the course will be based on:

InClass Participation   20 %

Online Participation   20 %

Reflections          30 %

Learning Objective Assignment   10 %

Annotated Bibliography   20 %

No Exam

The scores posted on Moodle are not your official grade. The scores are not final even when posted and are subject to change. The scores may be subject to the curve. Your official grade is the grade reported by the registrar's office.

Overall Grading Norm (Example)
(Subject to the Change)

Below is an example of the grading norm that I typically use to assign final grades. This norm is flexibility applied and is subject to application of the curve. Please note that this range applies to "Overall" score. It is possible to have many individual scores that fall in a lower grade range but have a higher overall score.

Grade Range>
Score Range

A+, A, A->
90 to 100

B+, B, B-,>
80 to 89

C+, C, C->
70 to 79

D. D+>
60 to 69

0.0 to 59

Understanding the Curves. If your scores is consistently above the mean (average) -- than your final grade is likely to be a B- or higher. That is if the average is 76 and your score is 79 than your final grade is likely to be a B-. If your scores are more than one standard deviation below the mean you are likely to make a "C (2.00)" or lower.

While a "C (2.0)" is a passing grade for the course, the impact can be the equivalent of a failing grade because you need a 2.2 average to graduate.


Evaluation and Grading: InClass Participation

InClass Participation

In-class participation will be based on attendance, preparation for class (class questions), effective participation in the small group cooperative learning process and large group discussion.

This is a cooperative participatory learning class. That means that your absence affects the learning of others. Consequently, missing classes significantly affects your grade. Missing any class will affect your grade, missing more than two classes (which is the equivalent of four classes) will significantly affect your class participation grade.

However, class participation means more than showing up for class. Class participation includes actively participating in class including being adequately prepared.

Attendance is required. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class hour. Students who are not seated and prepared to begin class when attendance is taken will be counted as tardy. A tardy counts as an absence.

"Excused absence" means documented illness of self, documented illness of a child, school-sponsored participation in competitions, or a family emergency. "Family Emergency" is limited to death or catastrophic occurrence affecting the student's immediate family or closely-extended family. Flat tires and similar automotive failures, computer problems, speeding tickets, work, interviews, court dates, etc. are per se unexcused absences.

Class Participation requires presence during the entire class period. Students should not leave the classroom once class has begun except in emergencies.

Class Participation requires attention. Students should refrain from engaging in activities that are disruptive to the class. Professional conduct requires that students refrain from eating, talking or laughing while others are speaking, passing notes, playing games, reading newspapers, or in any other manner disrupting the educational process by being rude or inattentive. Students acting in an unprofessional manner will be asked to leave the classroom and will be counted absent for that class. During small group, simulations and large group discussion all computers should be off.

You may not use Blackberries, Treos, mobile phones, and other handheld devices. You must turn off such devices before coming to class. Set to vibrate is not acceptable. If your cell phone rings during class you will be asked to leave and the day will be count as an absence. Checking your messages, Surfing the web is by definition NOT paying attention.

Class Participation requires preparation. Occasional inability to complete the assignments is understandable. Missing more than three discussion questions will affect your grade. If you are not prepared for class by having your questions completed before class, your class participation grade will be considered unprepared.

Your daily class participation grade will be evaluated based on a combination of your self evaluation and my evaluation. Your Evaluation MUST be submitted online within 15 minutes of the end of class. Failure to submit your online assessment will result in a grade of "0". e closed. When laptop use is permitted, the only permissible use is note-taking.

Evaluate Your Class Participation for Today>
(Must Complete and return at the end of class)

I was throughly prepared. I contributed readily to the conversation but didn't dominate it. I made thoughtful contributions that advance the conversation. I showed interest in and respect for other views. I participated actively in small groups. I took notes or reported for the small group AND I raised specific diversity bias issues related to the topic at hand.

I was thoroughly prepared and contributed readily to the conversation. I contributed occasionally without prompting. I participated actively in small groups. I took notes or reported for the small group OR I raised diversity/bias issues related to the topic at hand.

.I showed interest in the discussion, listened attentively and participated actively in small groups. I was prepared and I contribute to large group discussions

I was prepared, but I did not voluntarily contribute to discussions and gave only minimal answers when called on. I showed interest in the discussion, listened attentively and participated actively in small groups..

I was prepared. I did not contribute to small group discussion OR . I participated in a problematic way; I may have talk too much, made rambling poor tangential contributions, continually interrupt with digressive questions.

I attended class but was not prepared. I did not have my problems for class. Or I tried to bluff my way when unprepared or otherwise dominate discussion. I failed to acknowledge cues of annoyance from the professor or student. Or I did not contribute to either small group discussion or large group discussion.

Student did not attend class or if the student attended they were disruptive>

If you gave yourself a grade of 90 or 95, explain the bias point you made. You must do this for a 95 grade. You only need to do this for a 90 grade if discussing bias was the basis of earning a 90.

Evaluation and Grading: Online Participation

Online Participation

Online Instruction Defined

Online instruction is any formal educational process in which the instruction occurs when the learner and the instructor are not in the same place and Internet technology is used to provide a communication link between the instructor and students. Different forms of online instruction include:

o Sharing information on a web site (example: course syllabus/ web site))>
o Providing practice for new concepts by using online activities such as simulations and games>
o Communicating one-to-one or one-to-many via email for instructional purposes>
o Conducting discussions by using a threaded discussion board>
o Conducting discussion by using chat>
o Holding office hours by using chat or bulletin board>
o Delivering library resources via the Internet (example: Electronic databases, electronic course reserves)>
o Giving practice tests or evaluating performance by using online assessments>
o Submitting assignments electronically

Online Expectations

Participation on Moodle is integral part of this class. Any questions about the course should be posted under "Student FAQ" in Moodle.

Your online participation will be evaluated on your participation in the discussion forum, your completion of glossary entries, and your weekly reflection.

Moodle has many ways for me to evaluate your participation. For instance, I can determine the number of primary discussion postings, the number of secondary forum postings, the postings read, etc. If a person tries to game the system, i.e., repeatedly viewing the same postings, I can determine that and the person will be penalized.


Each week there will be at least one glossary to be completed. You should include terms, concepts and ideas related to the race, racism and the law concept being studied. Each week you should identify at least one term, concept or idea and define or explain it. You should review all the terms for members in your group and comment on two definitions.

The definitions can not be copied from the book but should be in your own words.. Examples and Hypos may be include where appropriate. As you study and gain better understanding you should feel free to update your postings.

Rubric for Glossary Terms

The definition is of a fundamental term, principle, or concept , rule, element, standard or test. The definition is highly accurate, thorough and complete. The definition includes a reference to a relevant legal case, a hypothetical, example, illustration or clarification. The definition includes the location in the reading or other source.

5 Well written definition and all the appropriate elements included>
4 Well written definition but missing a few elements>
3 Definition needs some improvement but all the elements are present>
2 Definition needs some improvement and is missing a few elements>
1 Definition needs substantial improvement, elements may or may not be missing>
1 Page reference not included>
0 No definition

Your comment should point out how the entry could be improved. Be sure to note ambiguities or inaccuracies.

Discussion Questions

For each assigned reading you will develop a question to be used in small group discussion. The question should promote critical thinking over the content. It can connect current studies to previously studied material. To the extent possible it should promote critical thinking about the role of law, lawyers and the legal system including law school in promoting or eliminating racism.

Questions should explore the underlying value implications of the reading. You may want to raise questions which will explore the point at which a value important to you is violated; to write question which challenge the desirable or undesirable consequences of a position taken in the reading; to write questions which make analogies to other things that you have learned; or to write questions which explore the priorities being set by some aspect of the reading.


Evaluation and Grading: Reflection Papers

Reflection papers serve several purposes.

o The process of putting thoughts on paper proved to be a meaningful learning experience.>
o Reflection papers demonstrate not only that you are reading the material, viewing the videos and preparing for class, but also that you are pondering the issues.>
o Reflection papers allow you to articulate ideas and arguments while you are reading and thus be better prepared to participate in discussion during the next class.>
o Reflection papers provide a mechanism to explore ideas that are not necessarily covered in class or that you may be hesitant to assert verbally. They allow you to apply what you are learning to your personal life experiences.>
o Reflection papers develop complex insights and theories, and allow you to speculate about the future. Most significantly, reflection papers allow you to engaged in the process of experiencing the harmony or dissonance between the perspectives described in the readings and your own. Reflection paper privileges experience and the forceful articulation of that experience.

Reflection papers should explore the underlying value implications of the reading and videos and relate it to your own personal experience and observations.

You may want explore the point at which a value important to you is violated; to challenge the desirability of consequences of a position taken in the reading; to make analogies to other things that you have learned; or to explore the priorities being set by some aspect of the reading or videos.

While reflection papers are personal in nature, they must be significantly connected to the law and the role of the law in maintaining or alleviating racism. It should be clear from your reflection that it is based on your experience, the readings, the videos and the class discussion.

Reflection papers should be at least 700 words in length.

Evaluating Your Reflection Peer Assessment

On most of the reflections we will use peer assessment to provide feedback. "peer assessment is a process used for checking the work performed by one's equals (peers) to ensure it meets specific criteria. Peer [assessment] is used in working groups for the law and for many professional occupations because peers can identify each other's errors quickly and easily, speeding up the time that it takes for mistakes to be identified and corrected. Generally, the goal of all peer review processes is to verify whether the work satisfies the specifications for review, identify any deviations from the standards, and provide suggestions for improvements. ". The expectation is that you will make more than a good faith effort in conducting all peer assessments.

Notes on Grading of Peer and Self-Assessment on Moodle

The score on moodle consist of two parts - submission grade and assessment grade. The assessment grade is based on how well you do the assessment. Just doing the assessment is not enough, if you are too generous or too restrictive in your assessment your grade will be lower.

There is a temptation to give average scores, to give all high scores or to give all low scores. Such a strategy will inevitably affect your assessment grade by significantly lowering it. Moodle compares your assessment to the teacher's assessment and your assessment grade is based on that calculation.


Learning Objective Assignment

Using the teaching objectives from the syllabus, the table of contents of the book and the lesson objectives as a starting point, write eighteen specific learning objectives for yourself for this course.

Your objectives should be concrete and measurable.

At least one objective for each of the following lesson:>
• Talking Race>
• Defining Race>
• Prejudice, Stereotypes and Biases>
• Racism and Discrimination>
• American Indians: Conquest to Termination Period>
• American Indians: Self-Determination/Contemporary Issues>
• Black Americans: Slavery, Reconstruction and Reparations>
• Black Americans: Jim Crow and Anti-Black Racism>
• White Americans: Defining Whiteness>
• White Americans: White Privilege>
• Latinos: Mexican Americans: Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, Labor>
• Latinos: Puerto Rican and Independence>
• Asian Americans: Chinese Americans and Chinese Exclusion Act; Southeast Asian>
• Asian Americans: Japanese Americans and Internment in Concentration Camps>
• Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders: Sovereignty Issues>
• Arab Americans and Other Middle Eastern Americans: Terrorism and Racial Profiling>
• Global Racism>
• Responses to Racism

At least one objective for each of the six level of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy>
• Remembering>
• Understanding>
• Applying>
• Analysing>
• Evaluating and>
• Creating.

One objective related to implicit bias and the law

For each objective, identify which lesson it is for, which level of Bloom's taxonomy and whether it covers implicit bias.

Read the following to help you write learning objectives: Guidelines for Writing Learning Objectives

Before writing your objectives, get an overview of the course, review the table of contents of both the assigned books and review the syllabus

Keep a copy of your learning objectives because at the end of the semester you will have to write a reflection paper which discusses how well your objectives were met.

If earn an unacceptable on you will be required to revise your assignment until it is acceptable. If you fail to turn in an acceptable assignment, you will earn a zero on the assignment.

Evaluation and Grading: Annotated Bibliography

1. Overview. Your annotated bibliography may address any issue in race and racism. As appropriate your Annotated Bibliography must cover the professional aspects of the topic such as, sociology, medicine, psychology.

2. Annotated Bibliography. The annotation should include: citation, description, critical comment and total number of pages read. The description should be two to three paragraphs but no longer than a half a page. If you read a book then you should annotate each chapter. Your description includes a synopsis of the author's primary points and a critique of those points. It should include whether the source contains a bibliography. Your bibliography should include constitution, cases (federal/state), statutes and regulations. Your sources must also include non-law scholarly sources. You may not include news articles and articles from popular press.

3. Short Reflection Essay. The essay should be at least 1800 words. It is in the nature of a reflective paper. What is the problem or issue? What did you learn? What is the current law? What are the unresolved sociological, legal, health care, medical, tort, psychological, or ethical issues? How has the readings and interviews impacted your views and opinions? Where do you think the law should go on the issue?

4. Thesis Statement. You must develop a clear and concise statement of the thesis for your Annotated Bibliography. The thesis statement is the logical core of your study. The thesis statement then provides you structure for tailoring your research. The thesis statement should not assume a warlike stance or a tone of shrill advocacy. Rather your statement should offer a rational defense and as precisely formulated as you can make it. Or you may raise a precise question about something controversial and your research attempts to answer it. Your statement should be 150 to 250 words.

5. Preliminary Bibliography

a. Your Preliminary Bibliography should include at least:>
i. 2 law review articles>
ii. 2 Statute or regulation>
iii. 1 non-legal professional, interdisciplinary article;>
iv. 1 article that significantly discusses racial aspect of the issue

b. All items should be clearly relevant to the thesis statement.

c. All items should appropriately formatted according to Bluebook, If you are unsure about how to cite something you should post a question in the Student FAQ.

i. Change to Bluebook>
(1) Do NOT abbreviate journal title, use full names>
(2) Include short 1 sentence parenthetical on relevancy, particularly cases, statues and regulations

6. Annotation of First Law Review Article

a. Attach a copy of the article with your assignment.

7. Final Annotated Bibliography Essay

a. The paper includes>
i. Short Essay at least 1800 words (minimum for a C+)>
ii. Annotations (at least relevant 8 articles minimum for a C+); Assuming on point, quality annotations the following>
(1) B 10 relevant items>
(2) A 12 relevant items>
(3) separately attach an copy of each item read

8. The bibliography must be turned on moodle. The number of points earned will be based on the:

quantity of readings>
the relevancy of the readings to your topic>
the comprehensiveness of your cites (such statutes, cases, law review)>
the quality of your annotations.

Your annotated bibliography should be organized using the following headings as appropriate:

Essay (at least 1800 words)

Bibliography (listing of citations)>
Federal Law>
State Law>
Law Review Articles and Book Chapters

Interdisciplinary Professional Articles and Book Chapters

Other (News articles, popular press )


Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law