Future Cinema Course

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 and Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory at York University, Canada

contract grading

*nb* — I will be distributing hard copies of the contract in class.

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Future Cinema 2 GS/FILM 6246 W 2014

Contract Grading:  Explanation and Contract

*This contract is based entirely on a longer original contract developed by Cathy N. Davidson, DUKE University, for her course Surprise Endings: http://sites.duke.edu/english390-5_01_s2013/assignmentsgrades/

I am indebted to the care Dr. Davidson has taken to think through and share her contract language and to her wider vision for the future of education.

Evaluation Method

Contract grading is not for everyone.  If you are uncomfortable signing a contract at the beginning of the class for your grade and offering evaluation to your peers on how well they are fulfilling their contractual obligations in the course, a conventional grading system is available to you.   In contract grading, you know in advance what your workload and responsibilities will be and you know that you will receive the grade for that amount of work if you fulfill your work satisfactorily (as determined by peers and instructor). In an ideal course graded by the contract method, every student achieves the grade for which they contracted at the beginning of the class.   There is no curve.  The standard is excellence.

When contracting to earn an A in Future Cinema 2 – GS/FILM 6246 you agree to:

Do everything requested on the syllabus, on time.

  • Carry out all the reading. Post a weekly critical response to a reading, post three questions to the class blog, and post a response to one of your classmate’s contributions
  • Attend both our Thursday morning class meetings and engage in weekly lab time or equivalent (team meeting, filming etc.)
  • Complete a handheld story/Snapdragon project
  • Contribute to all the team project requirements (pitch, final project, documentation, feedback to your group members)
  • Contribute effectively to your team’s success as determined by the team group feedback sessions.  If there are problems or misunderstandings, you will have an opportunity to fix them.

When contracting to earn an A- in Future Cinema 2 – GS/FILM 6246 you agree to:

Do almost everything requested on the syllabus, on time.

  • A) Carry out the readings – but post, as above, for all but two weeks. B) As an alternative you may choose to post either a weekly critical response or post three questions to the class blog.  You may NOT choose to combine A and B (in other words, you can’t skip two week’s worth of postings and also decide you will only post questions for the remainder of the weeks).  ß this is the difference between an A and an A – .  The rest of the obligations, outlined below, are unchanged.
  • attend both our Thursday morning class meetings and weekly lab time, or equivalent (team meeting, filming etc.)
  • Complete a handheld story/Snapdragon project
  • Contribute to all the team project requirements (pitch, final project, documentation, feedback to your group members)
  • Contribute effectively to your team’s success as determined by the team group feedback sessions.  If there are problems or misunderstandings, you will have an opportunity to fix these.

When contracting to earn a B+ in Future Cinema 2 – GS/FILM 6246 you agree to:

  • Carry out the readings for all but two weeks
  • Post either a weekly critical response to a reading  or post three questions to the class blog.  You will still need to post a response to one of your classmate’s contributions.
  • attend Thursday morning class meetings and weekly lab time, or equivalent (team meeting, filming etc.)
  • Complete a handheld story/Snapdragon project
  • Contribute to all the team project requirements (pitch, final project, documentation, feedback to your group members)
  • Contribute effectively to your team’s success as determined by the team group feedback sessions.  If there are problems or misunderstandings, you will have an opportunity to fix them.

You’ll notice that there is no way to receive a grade for this course without completion of the team assignment – we can’t negotiate that. This is a small, intense graduate seminar. If you feel you cannot contract for at least a B+, this class is likely not for you. Please come to see me.

Penalty for Not Fulfilling Your Project Team Obligations

If your project team partners give you feedback that you are not meeting the expectations of the team, and you do not accept their feedback and improve your contribution to their standards, you will receive an automatic grade reduction (ie from A to B+ —  a drop from A to A-  for failing to do the work satisfactorily and a second grade deduction, A- to B+ for jeopardizing the success of others on your team.)

Excused absences

In the case of an excused health or personal absence, you must still submit all individual work as contracted within one week after the deadline.  For the team project, your team will decide what constitutes a satisfactory make-up contribution to the success of the team project.

Contract

I, _______________________________________, agree to earn a grade of ______ in Future Cinema 2 – GS/FILM 6246.

In signing this contract, I understand and agree to perform all of the requirements stated above and outlined on the syllabus for English/ISIS 390.  I further understand the penalties for failure to meet my contractual agreement.

Student’s Signature: _______________________________________________   Date:_______________________________

Professor Caitlin Fisher: _______________________________________   Date: _______________________________