Researcher journals are an important part of the deliverables in this course. 

Instructions on how to post your entries in your researcher journal are found further below.

Journal entry: Reflections on the assigned readings

Due: by 5:00 PM the night before readings are covered in class. This is a strict cutoff. (Note: we reserve the right to change this time within the term)

Students must do the core readings before the classes. By the due date/time, students must create an entry in their shared journal with a question/comment about the material being covered that day, one note per required reading (typically 2 per class, but can be more or less). We encourage you to also to have a copy of these questions/comments with you in class and use them as a springboard for discussion.

Your questions/comments should be thoughtful, and clearly show that you have done the reading and reflected on it. They do not all have to be phrased in the form of a question, a comment is fine. If you are genuinely confused by some aspect of the reading, then it is useful and legitimate to ask for clarification. However, simply asking something that you could trivially look up yourself is not a good question. As with any written work that you submit, we expect correct grammar and spelling.

The goal of the shared journal is not only for you to reflect on the readings yourself, but also to learn about your classmates reflections on those same readings. For this reason, the journal entries are open to the full class. This will lead to richer in-class discussions.

Course staff will grade some of your questions/comments (random selection). Those that are graded will be graded on a 3-point scale of {good-3, okay-2, poor-1}, and we will sometimes provide feedback, especially at the outset of term.

Each question/comment should be at most one short to medium length paragraph. Often two or three sentences will suffice. The goal is to have short, crisp questions/comments. Marks will be docked for excessive length.

We will drop each student’s lowest 3 grades. Thus, you can essentially choose not to do this assignment for 3 of the readings. Choose these wisely.

Unless otherwise specifically arranged with the course staff, your questions/comments will not be graded after the due date/time (as timestamped on the journal entry).

Submitting your Researcher Journal entries

Researcher Journals are found as a module in Canvas. Each reading is set up as a Discussion item with the label that matches the reading number on the course schedule page. For example, to submit your journal entry for the first reading simply “Reply” to the discussion topic “Reading #1”.

Four important things to note:

  1. The researcher journals are open/visible to the entire class. Thus, all students in the class as well as the instructors will be able to see your entry (but only grading for their own entries).
  2. You will not be able to see any entries for a given reading from other students until you have posted/submitted your own entry for that reading.
  3. You are not able to edit an entry, after submission.
  4. You can optionally reply directly to other students’ entries — again, your reply will be visible to all.