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Learning Activities

See Grade Tracks below.

Students who take this online section have done some of the following activities:

  • Read, think, re-read, hypothesize about the reading, re-read, and write to support your best reasoning about the work read.
  • Somewhere between the first reading and the final writing about a work, students may email the professor, each other, call the professor or each other with questions or ideas, study sample writings by students or maybe summaries of professional criticism.  In some cases, looking at videos or DVDs of a work can also help clarify your thinking about the work.      See the course calendar for specific tasks.
  • Presentations (one is required of each student) may be done individually or in groups.  Individual presentations must be recorded.  Video can be sent in VHS format (not Hi8) or as Real Player or Windows Media files; audio can be sent on standard cassettes (not the tiny ones) or as .wav or Real Player or Windows Media files.  The presentation, done around midway through the course, is a form of take-home midterm; as such, it is an application question:  Can you use the methods of critical thinking and interpretation that you have learned so far in the course and apply those on your own to a contemporary work in a non-print medium, usually a movie scene or a song?    presentations
  • Other activities can include doing a PowerPoint about a work, usually to augment the midterm presentation, or making a web page.  Other options, somewhat different from the usual course assignments, are listed as extra-credit or substitute tasks that may be done at any time during the semester--but they only count if they merit an A or a B (no fair tossing off a lot of mediocre work, or worse, to earn a passing grade for the course).    extra-credit options

Grade Tracks

The chart below shows that students who wish a top grade must work with more complex readings for a couple of modules (yellow vs. peach backgrounds), though everyone does the introductory modules, a spoken presentation, and a final essay (aqua background).  Details for these modules are linked from the Course Calendar.

If you wish to earn (required of everyone)


(required of everyone)


(required of everyone)
an A do the course tour and the "Hills" module Oedipus  or Antigone or Hamlet an oral  presentation Sonnet 116 and "Birches" Final Essay
a B or C Trifles "Gunner" and the "Silken Tent" quiz

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