At the end of each course section, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
ESSAY GRADING GUIDELINES
To be successful in your VESi course, review the following information along with the Critical Thinking Question (CTQ) & Journal Article Summation (JAS) Instructions in your course syllabus. Skipping this information may result in an undesirable final grade.
ALL WRITING ASSIGNMENTS ARE CRITICALLY REVIEWED AND WILL IMPACT YOUR FINAL GRADE.
Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY (see course syllabus for policy) will affect your grade. Advanced education writing conventions are required (improper spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. will be penalized). Fifty percent of your final course grade will be determined by your writing assignments, with your exam average determining the other fifty percent of your score.
You may submit for review via email (email@example.com) a draft of one CTQ OR one JAS prior to course submission. You will receive an email response with a critical review that may be used as a guide for the completion of your remaining assignments. Please be advised: only one courtesy review will be completed per student.
EXCEPTIONAL EFFORT on Writing Assignments
A student who seeks an exceptional grade for the writing component (A- or A) will significantly exceed the standard requirements for all assignments (students receive one grade for all writing assignments). Use of two or more outside sources (properly cited) to support CTQ essays; when possible, personal interjections about relevance of the CTQ/JAS to your situation; CTQ essays above 700 words and JAS above 330 words; no plagiarism (all source quotes offset by quotation marks); no or very minor writing convention errors—all these indicate a student has put in exceptional effort to complete the CTQ essays and journal summaries.
ABOVE AVERAGE EFFORT on Writing Assignments
A student who seeks an above-average grade for the writing component (B or B+) will exceed the standard requirements for all assignments (students receive one grade for all writing assignments). Use of one or more outside sources (properly cited) to support CTQ essays; when possible, personal interjections about relevance of the CTQ/JAS to your situation; CTQ essays above 600 words and JAS above 260 words; no significant plagiarism (all source quotes offset by quotation marks); only very minor writing convention errors—all these indicate a student has put in above-average effort to complete the CTQ essays and journal summaries.
AVERAGE EFFORT on Writing Assignments
A student who seeks-an average/passing grade for the writing component (C or C+) will meet the standard requirements for all assignments (students receive one grade for all writing assignments). Outside sources (properly cited) for CTQ essays are not used; personal interjections about relevance of the CTQ/JAS to your situation may or may not be used; CTQ essays meet 500 word minimum and JAS meet 200-word minimum; plagiarism (all source quotes offset by quotation marks) is considered minor; modest writing convention errors—all these indicate a student has attempted to meet the base or minimal requirements of the CTQ essays and journal summaries.
GRADING DEFINITIONS & ELABORATIONS
Relevance & Content
Students are to answer the question with knowledge gained from the course content, handouts, videos, etc. An assignment grade may be significantly reduced when a student does not address the CTQ or the article content.
Researching articles and/or educational studies that support a student’s writings is necessary if a student is to achieve an above average or exceptional grade. These outside sources must be professional, peer reviewed (Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar level), full articles or studies (no blogs, abstracts, etc.) on subjects related to the particular course CTQ.
Punctuation, spelling, capitalization, paragraph structure, and grammar must meet advanced education standards.
Each journal summary and/or source must either include the URL/doi or cite the author, date, journal name and volume, and page number (or paragraph number if the source is online). Quotations, statistics, facts, and information taken directly from a source must be cited, offset by quotation marks if more than three words in a row are quoted; such excerpts/quotations may not constitute a significant portion of a paragraph or paper. If three or more words are taken directly from a source without the use of quotation marks, or if 50% or more of a passage comes straight from a source without proper citation, it may be deemed plagiarism. (PLEASE NOTE: Contact the VESi registrar [509-891-7219, firstname.lastname@example.org] for clarification if you are unclear on this policy.)
Writing assignments must meet the minimum word count. CTQ and JAS citations are not to be used as a means to meet minimum word count. The Critical Thinking Question should not be included in an essay and will not be considered in the essay word count. If a CTQ is included in an essay, the question will be removed and the word count adjusted for this removal. The course security program does calculate JAS citations as part of the word count; however, citation word count is manually removed during grading. Please be aware that when citations are manually removed, Journal Article Summaries must still meet the minimum word count. Also, make sure that once a citation is added, a JAS does not exceed the 400-word maximum. If the maximum word count is exceeded for any CTQ or JAS assignment, content must be removed until the assignment falls under the maximum word count; otherwise the course security system will not allow submission.
Copying & Pasting
Two or more assignments containing similar or exact content (including copying any portion from another CTQ or JAS in a current or previous course) will result in either a reduced score for that/those assignment(s), a failing grade for that/those assignment(s), or failure of the writing portion of the course. Students are not permitted to use the same responses or portions of responses in any subsequent course(s) or assignment(s).
Plagiarism is unacceptable and may result in an automatic failure of the course, along with possible academic sanctions. This includes plagiarizing from one’s self (using assignments in whole or part from prior course(s) or assignment(s)). Again, if three words or more in a row are from the source—use quotation marks and give a page (or paragraph) number.
Please Note: The above information also applies to students in courses that require completion of a case study paper. Case study papers count as 50% of the writing assignment grade, with the other 50% of the writing assignment derived from the combined CTQ and JAS scores. Not all students are required to write a case study paper. Please refer to your addendum for more information.
Students should refer to/follow the addendum and grading guidelines that come with their course materials for the most current information.