Assignments

We offer you here a brief introduction to the deliverables for 15.269, "Literature, Ethics, and Authority," for fall 2005.

These take four forms:

  1. Three team writing assignments,
  2. one team co-teaching assignment,
  3. two individual writing assignments, and
  4. in-class participation.

You will receive written feedback from the instructor or teaching assistant on the first three categories of assignment, and an alert at mid-term if you are lagging significantly in participation.

Student Deliverables

During the semester, you will submit

  1. Three team writing assignments:
    The Essays: team-prepared essays should be 3-4 pages in length, typed and double-spaced. You will deliver one of these essays in class on session 8, session 14, and session 20, respectively, in hard copy. We will post topics for each round of team essay two weeks before the assignment is due. Each of these essays is worth 5% of your individual grade; all members of the team will receive the same grade. We will impose a grading penalty for work delivered after the deadline.

    Team Process: the TA for 15.269 will randomly compose teams of 4 students each by the end of week 2; these teams will continue for the entire semester. Three members of each 4-person team will be responsible for writing one team assignment each, which he or she will sign; the three other members of that team are required to contribute to the reflection that generates the paper, and to sign to that effect; failure to do so will result in a "0" for that assignment, for the team member(s) who didn't contribute.

  2. One team co-teaching exercise:
    The fourth team member will be responsible for leading one full class, to be selected by the team during the third week of the semester. We have posted a full description ("15.269 Fall 05 Co-teaching Assignment") of the rationale for and logistics of the exercise, which is worth 10% of your grade. Again, that grade will apply to the entire team, except for any team member(s) who didn't contribute to the preparatory effort, and who will therefore receive a "0" for that assignment.

    View more information on this exercise (PDF).

  3. Two individual papers:
    These essays are to be written solo, in response to topics that we will post two weeks in advance of the due date. The first, mid-term paper is due session 11 in class; it should be 5-7 pages in length, typed and double-spaced, and is worth 15% of your grade. The second, final paper is due session 24: again, it should be 5-7 pages in length, typed and double-spaced, and is worth 20% of your grade. All work on these two essays should be the product of the individual student's thought and writing process. We will impose a grading penalty for work delivered after the deadline.

  4. Participation
    We will conduct 15.269 as a moderated discussion, which reproduces the search for consensus that good story-telling typically generates in the workplace. Regular attendance and active engagement in the conversation makes a significant difference for all parties, in that you stand to learn as much from your classmates as from the faculty or the material. Participation counts for 40% of your grade.

Feedback

We will provide written feedback on all of the written assignments and the co-teaching exercise, either in the margins of your hard copy or electronically; we aim to provide feedback within 5-7 days on the team exercises, and two weeks on the individual written assignments; at mid-term, we will alert students to lagging participation grades. On all assignments, we are happy to follow up with face-to-face discussions, as needed.