February 15, 2008

Selection policy drafts – overall comments

Posted in Assignments tagged at 6:32 am by maf

Here’s a summary of my thoughts as I wrap up reading your Selection Policy Drafts.

Overall, they are very well done. All teams accomplished a proper foundation for the complete SP. For each, I communicated any critical problems that needed to be addressed before proceeding. In most cases, there is handwritten feedback on the drafts which can wait until you see them on Feb 23.

As I read your Intellectual Freedom statements, I purposely refrained from commenting. It is not my place to agree or disagree with your positions. While I wanted to cheer many times, I tried not to do that either. Again, the importance of this exercise was to bring you to reflect about intellectual freedom and to be able to articulate a personal position. All of you accomplished this.

I’ve kept a copy of all the feedback, and so you won’t need to resubmit this draft with the final SP.

Here are a few clarifications, words of advice, things prompted as I read through them:

  • Take it as a basic rule that it is best to use the required language, whatever that is. We have invented the terms “Target” and “Principles” for this class. Because we agree internally on what they mean, it’s important to use those terms. Likewise (and much more important), as you go forward in your career, there will be many times when you must submit requests, policies, progress reports, on and on. In each of these, make sure to use the exact native language required. For example, when writing a grant proposal, it’s absolutely critical that you use the terms required by the instructions. This basic rule – so often overlooked – is an important survival skill.
  • Most of you quoted your School Mission, because I required that you link your Targets to it. However, the assignment did not specifically call for this. I will change the assignment for next time to require a statement of School Mission. Another important skill for you to have is to instinctively link each project or plan or policy to this Mission, over and over and over.
  • All of you did a great job of finessing that squiggly line between Selection Principles and Criteria. I think this is a first in my years of grading SPs.
  • Targets must always explain what kinds of things are to be purchased.

As always, if you see a way to improve an assignment or clarify instructions, I am happy to entertain your feedback.

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