The Compendium Notebook: Paying Down Your Exam Grade

The Compendium Notebook: Paying Down Your Exam Grade

The Compendium Notebook

What’s involved?

The compendium notebook is a summary review of what’s been covered in that section, or unit, of the course. It must be comprehensive, written by your hand, include graphics and images as well as text, a table of contents, and a cover page. To get credit it must be neat and well-organized—a second or third revision that reflects a well-founded and detailed understanding of the entirety of that section of the course. The only printed, copied, down-loaded or scanned material that can be included would be images that are incorporated as part of a larger hand-drawn schematic, or cartoon humor.

The minimum requirements:

To even be considered for evaluation, a notebook must have the following characteristics:

  • A hand-made title page
  • A table of contents that refers to numbered pages within the notebook
  • Be bound or stapled separate from your regular class notes or notebook
  • Be done by hand in your own handwriting

What insures complete credit?

IF the notebook meets minimum requirements, then I start out assuming it should get full credit and take off points for the following elements:

  • Lack of completeness. Major topics that are not covered result in a 10 point deduction. Minor topics in a 5 point deduction
  • Incorrect or misleading information: 5 points off for each instance of minor error. 10 points off for evidence of major lack of understanding of a given topic.
  • Lack of integration of graphics or images. 5 points off for each topic where text and graphics are not integrated—that is to say they do not correspond or come together.
  • Ease of understanding. 5 points off for each topic where the information is not organized in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Overly serious notebook. 5 points off for any notebook that doesn’t include at least a moment of light-heartedness or humor!!

How to make your notebook

My recommendation would be to review your notes, text the readings for each week and the website and then begin to assemble the pages for your notebook. You may want to make a general outline of the topics for that week and then fill in details, constructing a rough draft of your notebook pages. I would strongly suggest that you include some kind of overall organizational page—a concept map or flow chart or outline or whatever works FOR YOU—and then fill in the details. Do this for each topic. Then go back and check for completeness and accuracy. The final draft should be neat, well-organized and include all of the components indicated above. Colored pens and pencils add life to the notebook and can help make your organizational scheme clear.

How will the notebook be evaluated

On the designated class day, at the end of each section of the course, I will review everyone’s notebooks. Time for each of one of you can be very limited. Thus, when I come across notebooks that are not complete efforts, I will be brief, but unsparing, in my criticisms and the awarding of points. Please do not take this personally, but as a challenge to do better next time.

I will be looking for completeness, accuracy and organization. The easier you make it for me to understand how your notebook is put together and what the major points are for each topic, the better it is for you and for me.