So someone explain this to me--
A single graded discussion* (meaning-- threaded, bulletin-board style) is worth more to my daughter's grade in German II than any of the course's five midterm exams. Worth more, in fact, than ANY other graded item save the final exam.
(The final is worth 11.6% of the student's semester grade... this single discussion-- is 7.1% of it.)
Remember, this is a cumulative final examination, which should probably include 40 or so multiple choice questions, 5-10 short-answer questions (some with listening features), and an essay or two.
* Go to the discussion board and post at least five sentences about things you did yesterday. Also, ask your classmates about things they did, ate, etc. using the German past tense.
This is the kind of nonsense that weighted, category-distributed grading leads to in more cases than I have energy to describe at this moment. My daughter, being no fool so far as math and percentages goes, realizes full well that a C on that ONE assignment just made it imperative that she earn about 98% on everything else in that course in order to maintain an A. Oh, and no weighting on this class, so an A- would really sting. The students get 1/2 hour of live instruction with a teacher... every two weeks. Really not kidding.