Assignments & Grading

There are two principal types of assignments in this course: blog posts & blog comments. (To see how to create a post and a comment watch this tutorial on how to use the course blog.) Please note that in Week 1 your assignments include conducting a simple survey and recording your answers, which will be the basis for one of your blog posts.

INTRODUCTORY BLOG POST: See instructions on the class blog. Due by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, July 6.

“WHAT IS RACE” INTERVIEWS:  Before preparing a section on race for an online class a few years ago I wandered around downtown Lansing asking perfect strangers if I could ask them a simple question, and record their answers. The question? “What is race?” As you’ll see in the first lecture, I got some pretty interesting responses.

For your first assignment in this class, you’re going to do the same thing. Get out of your dorm/apartment/house and ask 6 strangers the simple question, “what is race?” Introduce yourself as a student at MSU in a class on race, and ask if you can record their answers. There’s no need to ask anyone’s name or any other personal information. By “strangers” I mean that they must be people you don’t know. They should also be different kinds of people: don’t ask 6 people who are all the same gender, age, class, race, etc. Record the answers—the voice memo function on your phone works fine. Write the answers down quickly and write down the time and location for each response, and perhaps some notes on your impressions of the respondent based on your observations. These interviews form the basis for your first blog post.

BLOG POSTS(10 pts) Each week you must create 2 posts that are due by Friday at 11:59 pm EST, except for Week 7 . The directions for the posts will be given to you in the weekly schedule. Make sure you are creating a brand new post and not just “replying” to my prompt. Your post should be original (yours!), thoughtful, respectful, grammatically correct, and address the points listed in the prompt. Make sure you categorize the post properly and that you are publishing the post instead of just saving a draft.

  • Reflection Post: 250-300 word reflection on the week’s reading materials. More information on each week’s schedule. Due by Friday @ 11:59 pm EST (except Week 7–see note in schedule).
  • Activity / Analytic Post: Varies from week to week – instructions given on schedule page: Due by Friday @ 11:59 pm EST (except Week 7–see note in schedule).

BLOG COMMENTS(10 pts) Each week you must comment on two different posts (a reflection post and an activity post) by Sunday at 11:59 pm EST. These are comments that are left on another student’s weekly posts that were turned in each Friday. To do this, you will read though all the posts in the corresponding category and find one that captures your interest. Just hit the “reply” button to write your comment. The instructions for the comment are included in the corresponding post prompt for that week.

  • Reflection Comment: 150 word reply to some else’s reflection post: Due by Sunday @ 11:59 pm EST
  • Activity Comment: 150 word reply to some else’s activity post: Due by Sunday @ 11:59 pm EST

FINAL PROJECT:. More information on the final project is available here, and in the schedule for Week 7.


Blog Posts are graded pass/fail – if you meet all the criteria you get all 10 points, if not you get a zero. You can assume you have full points for the post UNLESS:

  1. You did not do the post/comment
  2. Your post/comment was under the required word length
  3. Your post/comment did not address the questions
  4. You did not “publish” the post and only saved it as a draft
  5. You did not categorize the post correctly
  • Weekly blog posts and comments = 270 point out of 300 total possible points
  • Final project = 30 points out of 300 total possible points.
  • Grades will be posted on the  D2L course site. I will try to post them weekly, but some weeks will go by without an update.
  • Grading Scale
    Total Points Grade in % Final grade
    270 – 300 90 – 100 4.0
    255 – 269 85 – 89 3.5
    240 – 254 80 – 84 3.0
    225 – 239 75 – 79 2.5
    210 – 224 70 – 74 2.0
    195 – 209 65 – 69 1.5
    180 – 194 60 – 64 1.0
    179 or less < 60 0.0