Lectures are scheduled for three fifty-minute slots per week (MWF 8:30-9:20 (sec1) ; MWF 9:30-10:20 (sec2) ). The class will be run more like a discussion seminar than a standard lecture. Students are expected to do the preparatory readings (as listed in the timetable) in advance; discussion will commence using those readings as a base. The instructor may communicate for five minutes here and there in order to set the stage, make a technical point, summarize, or concentrate attention. Student participation is important not only to facilitate the learning process but because marks are assessed for class participation.
Each team will take the role of a particular group with concerns in that area; the teams will typically have conflicting or opposed views. The initial scenario will be outlined by the instructor. Groups have the latitude to make adjustments to the initial scenario, including the exact wording of each side's position. Both sides must agree with the final wording and the revisions must be approved by the TA. This means that both sides should have a clear agreement as to the topic of the RPE. If the group elects to revise the wording of the scenario, it must post revised scenarios to the newsgroup no later than one week prior to the RPE.
For RPEs held on a Friday, each team will prepare a position paper (from 1000 to 3000 words) for 4pm on Tuesday (with the due dates for non-Friday RPEs shown here). This will generally involve background research; it is also possible to conduct interviews with actual members of the groups being represented. Students will post position papers to the newsgroup (in the Folder for your RPE). It is acceptable to post a link to a site where the position paper resides. PDF or postscript is preferred (compared to Word documents). Format the document to leave room in the margins for comments from the TA.
Other students are expected to read the refined scenario and position papers in preparation for the in-class exercise. They are expected to be online during the RPE to be part of the discussion and to consider posing questions for the teams. When the class time for the RPE begins, someone from each team will begin by posting a very brief synopsis. Then a question-answering phase will be orchestrated by the TAs; RPE team responses will count towards their in-class presentation for the day. This task requires the RPE teams to think on their feet. The quality of the questions asked in class time will be used to judge the class participation of the audience members (rest of the class). Towards the end of the class time, each team will be asked to designate someone to post a final concluding remark. Note that this role playing exercise is explicitly not a debate (and vitriol should not be directed towards the other team). Instead, each side portays a position and adheres to that position.
Please note that it is also important to allow all team members an opportunity to demonstrate their skill in communication, either in providing the team's initial synopsis, in responding to questions from the audience during the discussion (ideally all members participating), or in composing the final summary.
Taking into account the points made in class, the teams are required to go off and produce, by the following Wednesday afternoon at 4pm (or alternate dates for non-Friday RPEs indicated here), a joint communique outlining what they can agree on and a common course of action (similar to a Union Negotiation). This communique will be posted to the newsgroup (in the Folder for your RPE). We are looking for some effort to have the two sides articulate clearly where they have found a middle ground. There is no set limit for this document, but it is expected to be moderate in size, on the order of a page, perhaps.
After reading the joint communique, students who want to provide feedback on the newsgroup should do so by 10am the Friday following the RPE in question (or alternate dates for non-Friday RPEs, indicated here). A mark will be assigned to the presenters, based on the position papers, the discussion in class, and the final communique on the points of:
The 20 marks for the RPE will break down as: 8 for in-class communication, including responses to questions, 10 for position paper and 2 for joint communique.
It is expected that all members on one side will receive the same mark, but exceptional circumstances may be brought to the attention of the TA, so that team members who do not contribute can potentially lose marks. The teams presenting on opposite sides on the same date do not necessarily receive the same mark.
||Position Paper||Joint Communique||Class Posting Feedback|
|Mon Jun 1||Fri May 29||Thu Jun 4||Mon Jun 8|
|Wed Jun 3||Mon Jun 1||Mon Jun 8||Tue Jun 9|
|Mon Jun 22||Fri Jun 19
||Thu Jun 25
||Mon Jun 29
|Wed Jun 24||Mon Jun 22
||Mon Jun 29
||Tue Jun 30
Any questions about assignments should be directed to email@example.com for expediency with a REQUIRED cc to firstname.lastname@example.org, regardless of your section. Requests for RPEs are sent to Atrisha email@example.com for the 830am class (sec1) or to Yetian firstname.lastname@example.org for the 930am class (sec2). Questions about RPEs should be directed to the same TAs listed above for your section (Atrisha for the 830am class and Yetian for the 930am class). Discussion on RPEs should be posted to the newsgroup.
Please also read the notices on this webpage.
Roughly half of the students in the class will be put into the 830am section (sec1) and half into 930am (sec2).
Do not email requests for sections.
The online delivery of the course will be run through our Piazza newsgroups (one per section).
Students will only be able to participate in THEIR assigned newsgroup/section.
Students will be encouraged to be online at the designated section time (Eastern), to enjoy a
more valuable learning experience (synchronous discussion). However, no student will be required
to do so. For each class with discussion, students will be allowed to post comments on
THEIR newsgroup later that same day, up to MIDNIGHT Eastern time, that day, in order to
get credit towards their class participation grade.
Each discussion date will have an assigned Piazza Folder. I will check the comments in the
folder to assess class participation (and the TAs will do so for the RPE dates).
for Topics of the Week dates arriving after midnight of the date will be ignored.
RPEs have a component where audience members ask questions to the RPE teams.
Those questions must arrive before midnight of the date in question, as well.
Students are always allowed to post to the RPE folder with comments,
following the uploading of the Joint Communique, up to certain deadlines
which are posted in the Structure document.
After the deadline, posts in that Folder will be ignored.
Note as well that each section will also be split into two GROUPS (as of Week 3). That split will be done
by the instructor/TAs; this will be done to keep RPE teammates together on the same day.
(The split into groups will be done as long as class enrolment is sufficiently high).
The GROUPS arrangement only requires your participation on ONE of the days of the week
for discussion of the Topic of the Week (e.g. Mon and not Wed or Wed not Mon for the week).
Note as well that due dates indicated on this page for Assignments, RPEs are for the Eastern timezone.