Understanding the Structure and Pedagogy of EUCLID courses
This post is written to assist incoming EUCLID students, and applicants as well, understand how a degree program is structured. This article focuses on individual courses, not entire programs. The idea is that a degree program is a chain or sequence of courses (modules) which we call the Roadmap. Every course is structured in the same way: as a 7-step process. For every course, there is a syllabus that breaks down the course to structure the information intake and deliverables. Why 7? Because on campus, a course usually takes 7 two-week periods. As you can see below, a term is often 14-17 weeks, so EUCLID adopts the idea that a course can be structured as 7 periods of 2 weeks each, as is done in many campus-based programs.
However, it important to stress that the organization of a course (all courses) into 7 periods (to reflect the campus format) does not mean that every period must last 2 weeks. It is not the case, although in theory a student could stick to 2 weeks per period and therefore 14 weeks per course.
But this is not flexible and it does not make sense because some course are worth 1 credit and other up to 5 credits (the typical is 2 or 3), and therefore vary greatly in data intake! So when a student starts a course, a good question is how long do I plan to assign for each period based on my availability and on the course’s data load?
After doing a couple of courses, it becomes easier to make this planning. Let us consider a typical course, structured in 7 study periods. After studying the assigned material for Period 1 (typically a mixture of PDFs, mp3s and videos), a student must submit a response paper.
The best way to understand what a response paper looks like is to look at a sample. Basically, a response paper is the same as a reading report. It is based on EUCLID’ single spaced template and student should use the APA (in-text / parenthetical) referencing system for Response Papers (not for Major Papers!) When doing so, it is important to always reference the page number (or page range), as in (Turabian, 2007: 55-57).
Here, it is useful to remind the students that they should access and download the assigned material from EUCLID’s e-library called Egnyte. Every student receives a link in the orientation email and there is link from the student menu as well.
Due to EUCLID’s strict adherence to copyright laws, not all material is available to download, and the instructor will indicate what must be purchased. However, fair use guidelines allow a significant percent of the require material to be available to students for the duration of the course and for personal use only.
A typical Course folder will look like this:
The best thing to do for a student is to download the material on one’s laptop or tablet, and to create the same folder structure.
From Egnyte it is easy to download a course folder (as ZIP) and to check “Download sub-folders.”
So after studying the contents of Period 1, prepare and submit (email it to assigned faculty + email@example.com) your response paper.
Keep in mind that a response paper is not graded but simply approved and filed. The idea is to show that you are studying and interacting with the contents.
A response paper (RP) is personal: you can discuss what you find useful, practical, new, controversial, etc. Make sure to follow the guidelines / checklist for all EUCLID papers before sending your assignment.
Make sure that the assignment has the proper naming format, for example if you name is Adam Smith and you are sending the Response Paper for Period 4 for course DIP-401 for the MDIA program, the proper name would be:
ADAM SMITH MDIA DIP-401 RP4.DOCX
Once your RP is approved, you can proceed to the next period.
When you reach the end of Period 5, you have typically covered all the require course material which is why the folders for Period 6 and 7 are usually empty.
After sending your RP for Period 5, you should also create the Quiz. Almost every EUCLID course requires the creation of a Quiz at the end of Period 5. You must create 10 questions from the entire course material, and for each question you must create 4 plausible answers. You should also footnote the correct answer with a reference to where the correct answer is to be found. The idea is to make you think about the Course as if you were the course instructor. What are critical questions? What would you ask to test a student if you were the instructor?
Period 6 is typically when the student write the major paper (MP) (some courses call 2 major papers). Before getting to work on the MP, make sure to check that your proposed topic is acceptable to the instructor.
A major paper must be:
– based on the EUCLID Word template
– comply with all ACA-401 requirements
– have a good structure
– have a logical flow using proper connectors
– make reference to the course material (as footnotes and full citations using the Quote style for the paragraph)
– cite other relevant sources (not Wikipedia!)
– avoid plagiarism
– be of “publishing / peer review” grade.
Once you have submitted the major paper and receive feedback on your work so far, you can schedule the oral examination with the instructor. It is conducted with Skype (video on) in closed book format. Expect the examination to last about 40-50 minutes and it is a good occasion, when the questions are finished, to interact personally with the instructor.
After the oral examination, the instructor will assign a grade to the course and hand the student back to the international faculty coordinator, so that the student may be transferred to the next course in sequence. Typically, students would pay for the next course’s tuition at this time.