This week starts off the Spring semester at Midwestern State University. That means a new group of students for my volleyball activity course (see my posts about last semester here and here). I met them for the first time today. Here’s what I’m looking at for the term.
I needed to make a couple of changes to my course syllabus for the new semester. One reflects the fact that we are not in the volleyball season. Last semester part of the class requirement was working two of our home matches. The students either acted as line judges or managed the ball rotation. This term we obviously have no official matches. We do, however, have a home tournament at the start of April. I have put down working 2 hours that day as part of the class requirement.
The other main thing I changed was the weighting of grades. Last semester attendance was only 40% of the grading. I used the break down my predecessor used, but never felt very comfortable with it. This is an activity class, so shouldn’t most of the grading be based on taking part? I think so. As a result, I bumped that weight up to 60%. Related to that, I also increased the penalty for missing class above and beyond the officially permitted 3 unexcused absences.
In terms of actually running the class, this semester the course runs three days a week for 50 minutes. Last semester it was twice a week for 80 minutes. This will require some adjustments to how I structure class time.
I have – at least at this initial point – eight students. Three are male, and five are female. I also have a female graduate assistant. A quick poll of the group indicates very little experience. One played up to sophomore year in high school, and another up to junior year. Not surprisingly, both were female. My GA is not one of them. By comparison, all the students last semester, plus my GA, had playing experience expect the one male.
I’m going to be doing A LOT more teaching of basic skills.
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