Why a Success Strategies Grade and How Can It Be Used?

In order to learn mathematics (or anything for that matter) you must be an active participant in the learning process. Therefore, I have created a way for you to systematically incorporate your active work in the course as part of your semester grade.  I call this option your Success Strategies Grade.   This grade is totally optional, but HIGHLY recommended, as it can provide a welcome boost to your grade at the end of the course.  Why did I do this????

Research suggests that in order for students to develop the ability to be life long learners, it is essential that they:

  • stay actively involved with the course material and fully participate in the course and the learning process,

  • learn to think about how they learn,  and reflect regularly and honestly on why they learn or fail to learn,

  • take the time to thoughtfully monitor and assess their work and work habits,

  • take steps to fill in any gaps, misunderstandings or sort out areas of confusion, and

  • be open to the possibility of incorporating new approaches in learning in their courses, particularly as the level of difficulty increases.  

Because I value the effort that goes into true learning, I want to give you the opportunity to "showcase" some of this process and have it count towards your semester grade in some accountable way.   Different people need different levels of involvement with different parts and components of the course, so you have great flexibility in creating your Success Strategies Grade.  I hope that participating in this option helps you find your work much more personally satisfying, and encourages you to develop and refine habits that help you become a more autonomous, independent thinker, problem solver and learner. These characteristics will take you far!

The Success Strategies Grade allows you to receive credit for some or all of the activities listed under Options to Work With and helps you be an active participant in the course.  Taking advantage of this option helps you develop and refine work habits that help maximize your learning. 

Important Notes:

  • Using some or all of the options described in detail at the links at Options to Work With will help ensure that you are regularly engaged with the ideas in the course, and can dramatically impact both your understanding of the concepts as well as your grade. 

  • You cannot accumulate more than 100 points for this option.  

  • Each student can use as many or as few of the options listed as they decide.  This is a VERY flexible VOLUNTARY component of my courses.  Some options have total possible point caps on them.  No one option can accumulate points past the number stated.

  • The main idea is to be an active learner through the entire semester.  Therefore, NO MORE THAN 2 OPTIONS CAN BE SUBMITTED IN ANY WEEK.  Most options cannot be used after the end of November for Fall semester or April for Spring semester.

During the semester, you can use these options to accumulate up to 100 points as a Success Strategy Grade.  At the end of the semester, you have 3 options for this grade:

  • You can count your points as an additional grade for the semester.  Remember, I grade on a (points received / points possible) basis, so If you have 40 points, you can add a 40/40 to your (points received/ points possible) computation.

  • You can drop up to 2 regular turn in assignments (not including the final project if there is one for your course) whose total points possible are less than or equal to your accumulated Success Strategy Points.

  • You can convert your success strategy points to Extra Credit at a rate of 25%.  For example if you have 40 Success Strategy Points, you can convert to 10 points of extra credit.  That effectively adds 10 points to one of your grades!  Keep in mind, if you accumulate the full 100 points possible for the Success Strategies grade, you can convert those points to 25 points extra credit at the end of the semester!

To see the Success Strategy Options available to you, click on Options to Work With

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