How I Grade
From time to time students ask how I grade particular types of work in the Music 1 class. I'll try to offer some information on this subject here. Important and official information about grading is found in the Music 1 greensheet and announced in class. The greensheet is our contract concerning policies in this class - read it carefully.
My tests generally include a variety of types of questions. Some will be quite objective, focusing on factual knowledge. Others are more general, and require you to summarize and compare facts, draw conclusions, and explain your thinking. Others may be based on the recognition and/or description of musical examples.
While the Scantron portion of tests tend to be objective, other parts of the exam may be more subjective in nature. In order to avoid letting my personal knowledge of you interfere with my objectivity in grading I take several steps to avoid knowing whose work I am evaluating as I grade the other parts of the test. For example, you will find that your name appears only on the first page of the written portion of exams. When I grade the written sections of the tests I place them upside-down in a pile that I shuffle. I evaluate each test and assign a score before I turn them over and find out whose test I am looking at.
Concert reviews and concert reports
There is a lot of information about the standards for concert reviews/reports posted elsewhere on this web site - see links in the sidebar. However, a few notes about my methods for grading them are in order.
Before I begin grading these assignments I sort them by concert. Then I read all the reports on a particular event at the same time. In this way I am more likely to recognize similarities between papers - which must be avoided at all costs. I also make it a habit to review concert program notes and other printed and online materials. There have been instances in the past when friends taking the class together submitted reports that were essentially group work. This is not allowed on this assignment and serious consequences will result as per the copying and cheating policy referenced later on this page.
None currently assigned.
Here I am also looking for evidence that you engaged the subjects presented in the reading and listening and that you applied your knowledge and perception to the questions in a significant way. I expect to see individual answers that reflect your own best thinking on the issues encountered on these assignments. Answers in your own words are much preferable to answers quoted from the text. In fact, excessive quoting will lower your grade. Convince me that you studied the related sections in the text, listened carefully and intently to the musical examples, and that you applied concepts from the class in your answers.
There is not a lot to say about the grading methods on this work since the grading is entirely objective. However, a major purpose of this work is to ensure that you have studied (not just read) the text and recorded examples prior to my coverage in class.
There may be an opportunity to earn a bit of credit near the end of the term by attending student performances by De Anza College performing groups. I cannot guarantee that extra credit will always be available. However, when available the extra credit assignments are fairly straightforward. Essentially, you go and enjoy the concerts and then turn in an informal one-page "report" that describes what you experienced at the concert.
Copying and Cheating
Read and understand the Policy on Copying and Cheating. I strictly enforce this policy and there are serious consequences for ignoring or violating it.