The Midterm

I have to agree with peppajack6 in that I’d rather not have a midterm at all and instead just have a longer paper due at the end of the term.  I think our discussion last Thursday proved that a midterm won’t really work very well in this kind of a class.  What would we do?  Have a discussion?  Create a new blog or work on a wiki?  All of these proposals sound nice, but they’d be very difficult to grade.  There’s no easy, arbitrary way to grade someone’s performance in a discussion.  And since some of us probably don’t have a background in web design, do we really want to be graded on our creation of a web page?

Again, I really don’t want to have a midterm.  But if you insist, I’d suggest a take-home, 5-8 page paper on a topic related to one of the chapters in Born Digital that we’ve dealt with so far.  This would give us all a chance to incorporate our ideas from our class discussions, would be relatively easy to finish in a week, and grading it would be straightforward.  Use Born Digital for a book source, along with maybe 3 scholarly articles, and the rest could be internet sources or anything else.  Perhaps we could be required to be “futurists,” predicting what a particular internet issue (dossiers, privacy, etc.) will look like in five or ten years.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I would really rather just have a final paper.  But if the class insists on having a midterm and a shorter final, so be it.  A short take-home essay is the best way to go about it.

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