Learning from Experience and Self-Assessment

Course Description

This course is intended to launch the learner on a course of lifelong self assessment. The self assessment work we do in these five (5) modules are intended to focus on learning from experience. The basis for this work stems from three life-questions—questions which are not intended to be “answered” but are intended to offer “snapshots” at various times in our lives, perhaps annually, perhaps more frequently. The three questions: 1) Who am I? 2) How do I get along with others? 3) What are the meanings I make of my life?

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Resources

Required e-Reserve Readings:

Four Synchronous Sessions:

Course Outcomes

In this course, you will develop the following skills:

Make meaning from experience.
Apply self-assessment to writing a structured learning autobiography.
Compare and contrast deductive learning experiences and inductive learning experiences.
Begin to compile a learning portfolio.

How the Outcomes will be Demonstrated in this Course

Each module will consist of structured learning assignments that connect the learning activity with the outcome. Making meaning from experience is a fundamental course objective that connects learning to life experiences. Tools that support meaning making include but are not limited to the first three synchronous sessions, the Learning Autobiography, and the readings.

Course Structure

This course consists of 5 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is 1 week.

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Assessment of Learning

In assessing work like that described above, your instructor will look for:

Evidence of one of these elements equates with a C; evidence of two with a B: and evidence of three with an A.  In making such assessments your instructor will strive to be clear, flexible, forthright and empathetic.

Distribution of Assessments

Discussions 10 points
Reading Reviews (4) 40 points
Assignments (2) 20 points
Learning Autobiography 30 points
Total 100 points

Grading Policies and Practices

Participation Policies: Learners will complete each module (including discussions) before or on their due dates. That there are five modules, and five weeks, learners are expected to complete on module per week. You will have the opportunity to meet synchronously with a classmate for personal support, to share ideas, and to have the experience of live sessions facilitated through technology.

Unfinished work or work requiring revision may be given an Incomplete (IN) grade. In order to qualify for the IN, students must have:

If the deadline agreed to in the contract is not met, the grade changes automatically and irrevocably to “F.”

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit at the School for New Learning.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

Written assignments will be assessed for

Your participation in the discussions is an integral part of class participation and will be based also on the frequency and thoughtfulness of your online postings as well as your interactivity with the postings of others. A rubric for assessing the quality of your discussions will be among the course resources.

Your attendance at the synchronous sessions is highly encouraged. I know that you may have scheduling conflicts due to work schedules. These are held in the evenings, but I know this will still present a problem to some. Summaries of the synchronous sessions will be distributed. Whether you’re able to attend the session or not, you are still accountable for the content of the session.

Your written work will be evaluated as follows:

A grade of A designates work of high quality; reflects thorough and comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand; reflects a clearly identifiable thesis and argument (in written work) that demonstrates cogent and creative development and support of an idea.

A grade of B designates work of good quality; reflects clearly organized and comprehensive understanding of issues at hand; presents substantive thesis and argument with evident development and support of ideas in written work.

A grade of C indicates work which minimally meets requirements set forward in the assignments; reflects some organization and development of ideas but develops argument in superficial or simplistic manner; may only address part of the assignment or be otherwise slightly incomplete.

A grade of D designates work of poor quality which does not meet minimum requirements set forth in the assignment; demonstrates poor organization of ideas and/or inattention to development of ideas, grammar, and spelling; treatment of material is superficial and/or simplistic; may indicate that student has not done reading assignments thoroughly.

Online Discussion

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

Participation In the online discussions: your responses will be assessed on whether one or more of the following are present:

  1. Offering ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them
  2. Asking challenging questions
  3. Articulating, explaining and supporting positions on ideas
  4. Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples
  5. Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinions
  6. Offering a critique, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others
  7. Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings
  8. Summarizing previous contributions and asking the next question
  9. Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed

The above list was adapted from Gilly Salmon’s book E-Moderating: The key to teaching and learning online.
London: Kogan Page: p.143 (2000).

When you respond to a classmate's post, refrain from simple phrases like, "Great ideas!" or "I like that." Refer to the 9 points above and use words like, "But," "Additionally," "I agree and," "However," "What about," etc.

Discussion Rubric – Criteria for Feedback/Evaluation




Comment is accurate, original, relevant, related to experience, teaches us something new and is well written. “Four point” comments add substantial teaching presence to the course and stimulate additional thought about the issue under discussion

Above Average

The comment lacks at least one of the above qualities, but is above average in quality. A ‘three point’ comment makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the issue being discussed


The comment lacks two or three of the required qualities. Comments that are based upon personal opinion or personal experience ONLY often fall within this category


The comment presents little or no new information; however, ‘one point’ comments may provide important social presence and contribute to a collegial atmosphere.


The comment doesn't do anything for anybody

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Course Policies


College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly communicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by faculty and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

© School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL during contractual interval with the Author.