Latinity Points (XP) as a Replacement for Grades, Part 3

Continuing from Part 2, here is a complete transcript from one of the teams engaged in a recent mission. 

The quick synopsis: the Recentiī were thrust back into a historical training mission. This time, they were on the deck of Duilius' flagship just prior to the important Battle of Mylae during the First Punic War. Remember, Rome had just lost a number (read: every) major naval battle since the outbreak of war, including most recently at the Lipari Islands where Scipio Asina was captured by the Carthaginian fleet. 

Duilius, feeling a bit uneasy (and rightfully so), required a little pep talk despite the tactical advantage he was about the unveil -- the corvus. At the moment the Recentiī encounter him, Duilius is questioning the advice given to him by the Corneliī and the Claudiī about the nature of the patrician class, the plebeians, and how to manipulate power in Rome. My commentary will follow the full transcript:

Student 1- so i was thinking that we need to find another was to glorify Rome without tricking the plebs...wait -_- thats what the paragraph says..

Student 1 - hmmm it turns out that the same fate that happened to Appius Caudex and Scipio Asinus happened to Duilius...he was given control during the war, but after that he "never held another office of high command" i wonder why? i mean he seems like a nice enough guy...not one to be a "donkey".

Student 2 - Maybe in these men's cases, the plebs caught on to what the two patricians had done and scorned them for the rest of their political careers choosing instead to support other figures?

Student 2 - Oooh, I bet Student 3 and I can relate this to some recent thing we learned in History class. Machiavelli, a Renaissance writer, produced The Prince which highlighted what he thought were the necessary qualities to a successful leader. It included things as being deceptive, any immoral means as long as it accomplishes the desired end results. That's what Cornelii and Claudii had advocated and currently, Asinus is trying to convince Dulius to do.

Student 2 - So correlating to our need to suggest some guidelines which Dulius should follow in order to achieve victory and fame, we can give him tips which he should not do.
Such as:
1.) Being impatient ( Eager to secure such an important port and to cover himself with glory, Scipio rushed to the Lipari islands without considering security.)

2.) Rallying up his men, which luckily enough, Dulius is planned on doing though he has no idea how... (The crews panicked and escaped to land, leaving the ships unattended and Scipio Asina to be made prisoner by the Carthaginians).

Student 2 - Oh, I didn't know who you were referring to when you said he never held another office of high command. Disregard my post below yours. Or.. I can just delete it. :D  
Student 3 - Exactly Student 2! That's what I was thinking. They thought it was better to be feared than loved. Maybe we should just tell Dulius to do what he knows is considered to be "lofty". (5 points for english vocab :D)  
Student 2 - @Student 1 That is a good point though, it's ironic. "Neither the humiliation, nor that Scipio Asina was the first Roman admiral to lose a battle, ended his career; in 254 BC, Scipio Asina was elected consul for the second time"  
Student 3 - It's almost as if the defeat ruined his career......sounds like they don't like failure....

Student 2 - Maybe to preserve the kind of honor and respect he received (which does come by every day), Dulius secured his position by eliminating any possibility of him being humiliated by loss or failure.

Student 2 - Or as part of his plan to be "good cop" and not "bad cop" like Asinus wanted, he just played modest.

Student 3 - We could also tell him not to expect too much but just treat it as a normal battle. Stress often brings effort and quality down....  
Student 2 - What gens is Dulius? Will that offer us to some insight as to what he was brought up to support?

Student 1 - I need to correct my last statement...i wasnt talking about Scipio Asinus or Appius Caudex...I mean that Duilius suffered the same fate as them  
Student 2 - "Not much is known about his family background or early career, since he was a novus homo, meaning not belonging to a traditional family of Roman aristocrats".

Student 1 - so at least he raised his own rank..he relates to the plebs

Student 3 - Ok, so basically we're just telling him good luck lol.  
Student 2 - That means Dulius is not naturally inclined to exploit the plebs or Roman population as easily as the patricians would've. Why should we mold him in their face? We should let him be, it seems as though that's what he had done in historical context, be honest with his fleet.  
Student 2 - After all, he did win the title of Censor. "The censor was an officer in ancient Rome who was responsible for maintaining the census, supervising public morality, and overseeing certain aspects of the government's finances."  
Student 2 - Emphasis on PUBLIC MORALITY.

Student 3 -Oh wow then good. Looks like we got a plan :D  
Student 2 - So are we agreed on this, Dulius should abandon and trash all of the notions, talking of Patricians and influencing the population selfishly, delivered to him by Asinus?

So what was the end result? After their discussion on Edmodo, the crew headed over to Google Docs and collaboratively hashed out their response for the evening. Looking back on the revision history, it is easy to see that it was a fairly balanced effort by all three members, especially the Latin composition passage. I present it, unedited, below:

Horatiana pats the back of a troubled friend in need, linked by mutual suffering. She too knew only too well the stress and pressure of being expected to live up to something practically unattainable. Left unattended, this problem can be crushing when the expectation is not met or properly challenged; casting a lifelong burden. Especially when one more loss could spell out the untimely end of the Roman civilization, the pressure is unbearable upon the shoulders of one man. She wished with her heart and soul to dispel the fear radiating from this man.
Horatiana ad vultum Duilii spectat. ille sudabat et tremebat valde! illa debet cogitare celeriter aut omnis spes est perdita. scivit Appium Caudem et Scipium Asinum luserant populum. Et illi facerunt id solummodo sibi. Duilius non debet agere illud si vult populum amare eum. Est optimum acquiere fides classum. Bonus imperator, sicut tu, non requirat potentiam Lapidis. Scipio habuit lapidem et ille erat captivus. Classes faciunt imperatorum potentiam.

Horatiana, in the last fleeting minutes before approaching the islands, drills Dulius in the makings of a fine leader. The patience, the strategy, bravery, modesty, listening skills, the willingness to sacrifice oneself for the bigger picture, and most of all, to act as an extension of the navy itself, amplifying its strengths many times. Speak from your heart in all honesty to your men. You do not need deception to get them to fall in line. Fear only works to an extent. No, what you need is compassion. If you speak with true decency, then why will there be any doubt the men will not show the same love you have for Rome? You need not to worry about your men, but instead how you can guide them with virtue because only then will they live up to your standards. Or slave away as one of the patricians' mindless puppets. That's what the Claudii and Cornelii probably had in store for you. But deep down, you had always doubted their methods. You're a novus homo, for goodness' sake.

Already I'm crossing over to TL:DR territory so I'll keep my commentary short. We have a standard response rubric located at this link. I'll focus on Student 2 for assessing how well they did meeting the learning objectives.

Remember, this was a single night's worth of work and they received no grade on it in the traditional sense. Student 2 receive 292 LPs for their work on this immersion prompt. Contributions such as Student 2's are the easiest the award points for -- I think most readers will agree this student exceeded standards for a Latin I class for Expression of Ideas, Elaboration, Cultural Competence, Risk Taking, and also the two Latin composition categories, Grammar and Vocabulary. I especially liked this student's ability to connect to what they were learning in their history class about Machiavelli and his views on how a leader should operate. Student 2 was respectful and helpful towards the other team members and it is clear that all members benefited greatly from the social and collaborative setting.

The collaborative setting also allows an opportunity for different members to showcase their talents in different ways -- Student 2, for example, excels at research and pulling out relevant information and distilling that for the team. Another student has a knack for elaborating the role-playing for their Recentia, Horatiana, and the third does very well with fine tuning the grammar in their compositions.

Again, I want to stress that all of this work (and it is substantial) is done with almost no expectation of extrinsic rewards. These students (and many of their classmates) are taking part in exploring these missions at great lengths purely for the learning that comes out of doing so. In the final installment, I'll spend some time reflecting about how I leverage Latinity Points as a launching point for a discussion about evaluation -- not the basis for evaluation -- when it comes time to report formal grades for marking periods.

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