• Participation. Students in the class learn by helping others to learn, and together, we create the curriculum out of dialogue. As a result, participation is more crucial than it might be in classes based on lectures or set readings. Grades for specific assignments are based half on the product and half on participation in that assignment–helping others, constructive feedback on others’ work, discussions about your own work and that of others; presentations of your work in class.There may be unavoidable absences, some based on doing the very things the class is teaching. In those cases, it’s your responsibility to discuss it in advance and to propose an alternative way to contribute and learn.
  • Collaboration. It’s fine to do your projects in collaboration with another class member or a community member. There are no specific requirements on extra length for collaborative projects, but as I’m sure you would, I expect a project done with another class member to be somewhat more fleshed out.
  • Focus. The various assignments, e.g., related to Investigate, Create, Ask, Reflect, Discuss, can each branch out. That makes sense if you’d like to explore the topics in a more general way. But you may also decide to focus them all on a specific project, for example, an after-school program for teens in your library, or a green community movement just getting underway.
  • Citations. There are no specific requirements for citations/bibliographies, other than producing a document that communicates well with others. It’s of course useful to know specific citations with relevant page numbers. For example, you might refer generally to Jane Addams’s work as represented in Twenty Years at Hull House, but if you want to talk specifically about her reasons for doing that work, you might be thinking of the “Subjective Necessity” chapter, in which case it would be a courtesy to the reader to cite the specific chapter or page numbers.
  • Technologies. The class uses a variety of technologies for learning. My approach has been to keep trying things, not seek perfection, and assume that people will speak up if it gets overwhelming or have ideas about how to do it better.

⇧ IBL course home page

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