English @ OU

Alternative Activities for Classroom Hours in Composition Courses

Ordinarily, instructors must meet their students for their scheduled classes in either their assigned classrooms or in another scheduled classroom such as the computer lab (Ellis 18). If the instructor would like to assign a class activity outside of the classroom, the following activities are considered legitimate substitutes:

  • Scheduled individual conferences with the instructor outside of office hours
  • Scheduled meetings for student group projects
  • Attending a campus event approved by the instructor
  • Conducting nontraditional (field) research for a class assignment, such as interviewing, visiting the career planning and placement service, inspecting sites for reports, etc.
  • Scheduled small-group critiquing sessions with the instructor
  • Library research and/or workshops with the library faculty (beyond the standard library sessions scheduled for most 151s)
  • Well-designed virtual meetings in Blackboard or a MOO

These substitutes can be used for a maximum of 15% of the class hours per quarter, for instance, 6 hours for a 4-credit course and 8 hours for a 5-credit course.

For most activities outside the classroom, instructors should be available to meet students during the scheduled class time, either in their offices or where the students are assigned to be. In addition, instructors should ask students to document their participation in the activities when the instructor is not physically present (such as scheduled meetings for student group projects, attending a campus event, etc.). Some examples of documenting participation include an essay about the event, notes from an interview, an annotated bibliography, minutes of a group meeting, or an online posting.

Activities outside the classroom should approximate the time spent in class, and should be identified on the course syllabus. Instructors must also notify the English Department office of where the alternate activity will meet.

If instructors assign an alternate activity that is not on the list above, we ask that they notify the Director of Composition of their plans.

The Department Chair and the Director of Composition expect that these guidelines will be followed by all instructors.