So semester 2 is a little less than a week away. The Wiki is set up and I have sent out my welcome message to the students.
I have already had a couple of people email saying that they can't make classes or that they won't be around during the first two weeks. What is disappointing is that—in their emails—I got no sense that had read anything from the Wiki, so they did not suggest any sort of solution to their problem. Rather, they seemed to want to place the problem at my door.
Both situations can be managed, but they need to be proactive about it, and appreciate the negative impact that will result from their situation. Only then can they make an informed decision about the course (and whether to continue with it or not).
I spent a lot of time (relatively speaking) thinking about, and talking about–with Emma–the major assignment of the course; and 80% piece of writing. It sounds scary, but by the time the students get around to doing it they should not have any problems/difficulties. But I do appreciate that it feels high-risk and scary to them. But, I have not been able to work out any meaningful way to reduce it … and at the end of the day, the assignment seems to work really well.
So, I have decided to leave it 'as is' for now.