by Deborah Zornes.  

Hi to all of you - I hope your day and evening are going well. Things are a bit surreal here in BC with the storm Sunday/Monday. We are relatively unscathed here on the island and roads are open again to head north to Nanaimo, but the devastation in the interior is unbelievable.  I wanted to reach out early this week with some thoughts regarding A1, the ARP and DLCRP in general, and to explain my approach to marking.  For A1, I think/hope the instructions are clear -- you are developing a template which will, by the end of the course, include all three assignments and will be your full proposal. That proposal will then be the first draft of the first three chapters of your final paper (the ARP or the DLCRP). It will continue to change and evolve throughout this course, and into the next. So, don't expect or put the pressure on your self for perfection. I have yet to see, in 10 years, any A1 that doesn't get changed through the course and into the actual ARP/DLCRP. Think of this as in iterative process.  For A1, once you have the document template with the various sections you are completing Section 1, and including whatever references in the references section. You are setting some basic context and background in this first assignment (with references) and you'll likely expand on those in Assignment 2. You'll continue to the reference section through A2 and A3 and beyond.  Also remember that a good ARP/DLCRP is a done ARP/DLCRP. This is not your life's work. Think of the finished piece as the beginning of whatever next thing you want to do and how you might be able to use what you learn through the research.

With regard to the marking, here is my approach. I first thing I do is read your assignment and determine that basically you've done what you need to do - the pieces are there and you've met the requirements and expectations. And that means, as per the grading schedule for the program, that if you've done a good satisfactory job the grade is a B+. I then read a second time and look at where I can provide feedback that might add value to help make the proposal stronger -- the comments are rarely a 'have to' (though they are in some cases), but should be thought about more like a conversation and brain storming. If they make you think or consider something then I've done what I've set out to do. In some cases, those comments may lead you to make changes, but in others you'll decide not to, and if you can make a case in your head for why something should stay as is, then you've made the right call. As I read through and note areas that could be stronger, I also then look to see if there are instances where you've exceeded the expectations for the assignment, and I'll point those out, and similarly if there are areas where you haven't met the expectations I'll note those as well.

I know that the course moves fast, and there is seldom time for changes during the course, however, if there are changes that you make to a previous section/assignment and want me just to read it again and add comments again, just let me know when you submit A2 or A3 as I am more than happy to review again and provide comment.

AND, I am always available to talk something through if that's helpful so please don't hesitate to reach out.

Take care