Laura Gibbs

#TotalCoLearner Week 14: I finished the class! Whoo-hoo!

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Dec 1, 2018

So, this morning I finished up the final assignments to complete my class this semester as a student. A lot of the students will be doing the same this weekend; the class is set up so that if you have more or less kept up with the assignments, you can finish at the end of Week 14 and have a true Dead Week next week (last day of classes is December 7; finals start on December 10). I am sooooooo happy with this experiment, and the main thing I have learned is that I should have been doing this all along!


I wrote up a Famous Last Words post when I finished the class this morning, and I included some nerdy graphs and charts in there. I was able to generate those graphics because I was using a real spreadsheet to track my progress in the class instead of the Canvas Gradebook. I wrote more about how great it was to use that spreadsheet in this earlier post:

#TotalCoLearner: Week 9. Spreadsheet Power! 


So, in literally just a minute I was able to prepare these three intriguing charts that helped me to get a sense of how my semester went in terms of my work for the class. Here they are:


My Classwork. This pie chart was a cool way to see that the classwork divided almost exactly in half between the core activities of reading and storytelling (story posts and also the semester project) and then all the other ancillary activities (interacting with other students, skills development, reflection).


pie chart of class assignments


The class is designed so that it would be more like two-thirds reading and storytelling and one-third other activities, but I actually did less reading this semester. That was my choice, and the class is set up that way so that the design accommodates student choice (more/less reading, more/less writing, more/less interaction, etc.; there is LOTS of choice). For next semester, when I take the India class, I will be doing a lot more reading; one of my goals in that class is to re-read and revise the public domain epics I created as textbooks for that class, so that will be a steady amount of reading every week all semester.


My Points. This chart shows my points per week. I did this one as a bar chart since it was easy to see how at the start of the semester I stuck to the 30-points-per-week design of the course, but then things got kind of erratic as I would get behind, then catch up, then get behind, and so on until I finished the class today. (Yeah, Week 6 is mislabeled: my typo!)


bar chart of points per week

My Blog Posts. Finally, this chart shows my blog posts. This is the most dramatic way to see the shift in the kinds of work I was doing as the semester progressed; by the end of the semester, I was focusing almost entirely on my project, and there were fewer and fewer blog posts. Overall, I had 84 blog posts though; you can see them all at my blog.


graph of number of blog posts per week


Like I said in that final blog post for the semester, this drop-off in blog posts is not a failure. It's actually a sign of success; this is how the class is supposed to work. The semester gets more and more hectic, but by front-loading at the start of the semester when both time and energy are abundant, that makes it possible to taper off as the semester comes to an end.


The Linguistics Club at my school shared a hilarious cartoon that illustrates the end-of-semester taper. My blog was not looking quite as sad as this horse at the end of the semester, ha ha, but you get the idea. I'm just glad I don't have finals ahead. Instead, I am just counting down the days to winter break... which starts on Friday at noon for me.


Happy end-of-semester, everybody!!!


picture of horse getting sketchier and sketchier