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Course Syllabus

Course: GNST 1200

Division: Administrative Division
Department: Administration
Title: GE Foundations

Semester Approved: Fall 2018
Five-Year Review Semester: Summer 2023
End Semester: Fall 2023

Catalog Description: In this course, we will study one thematic issue (e.g. cloning, GMOs, definitions of beauty) from three different disciplinary perspectives in order to understand ways in which knowledge is connected, dependent, and relevant. Additionally, this course will focus on the habits of mind (intellectual, motivational, emotional, self-awareness, and self-directedness) that are essential for becoming a learner in an interdisciplinary world. This course should be taken during the Freshman year. Additional fee required.

General Education Requirements: Foundations (FND)
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0

Justification: When students see relevance and make connections, they develop multifaceted proficiency in and across disciplines. Integrated learning gives students the ability to succeed in situations that demand creativity, adaptability, flexibility, critical reasoning, and collaboration. Integrated learning guides students in becoming life-long learners and problem solvers who can adapt to new environments, integrate and apply knowledge from a variety of sources, and become empowered through the mastery of a diverse range of intellectual and practical skills. Additionally, Foundations provides a framework for understanding and achieving the College's general education outcomes from both an informed and intentional perspective. Too many students report that they don't see the relevance of their GE courses to their major course of study or their future career plans and thus think of GE as something to get out of the way. With an emphasis on what it means to be educated, a focus on GE outcomes and relevance, and an interdisciplinary focus, this course is designed to facilitate student understanding of GE curriculum and to foster intentionality in GE course selection. This course focuses primarily on integrating knowledge and methodologies from multiple disciplines. It will transfer as a component of the GE program.

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness.  An important goal of this course is to introduce students to interdisciplinary thinking by focusing on one theme or idea and approaching it from three different disciplinary perspectives. Through readings, class discussions, and the setup of the course, students will be able to see knowledge as connected. They will demonstrate their ability to address an idea from multiple perspectives as they participate in class discussions, work as a team to construct an interdisciplinary argument, and compose their own signature assignments.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. Students will read a variety of texts from at least three different disciplines. Discussion questions are designed to elicit critical responses (e.g. how was this information gathered? What biases are inherent in this discussion? How is the information tested and validated?). Quizzes, class discussions, and assignments will provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to read critically and effectively.

3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team. The importance of teamwork and effective communication, both oral and written, are important components of this course. Students will be able to work as a team as they use information from different disciplines to construct and support an argument. They will demonstrate effective oral communication skills in their group presentation and effective written communication skills in their individual signature assignments.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. Students are asked to critically evaluate essays from a variety of disciplines. They are also asked to reason creatively as they demonstrate an ability to articulate the relationship of ideas to each other across disciplines. Students will demonstrate an ability to read and think critically about interdisciplinary knowledge through class discussions, quizzes, exams, and assignments.

7: A student who completes the GE curriculum can address complex problems by integrating the knowledge and methodologies of multiple disciplines.  This course is designed with an interdisciplinary focus. Students will be able to see relevance and make connections across disciplines. They will demonstrate their ability to integrate learning by pulling disciplines together to construct and support an argument in their signature assignment.

General Education Knowledge Area Outcomes:
1: Through the study of a variety of texts that focus on the definition and value of a liberal education, students will examine philosophical questions about what it means to be educated, the need for a college education, and strategies for becoming an intentional learner. Through class discussion and a personalized education plan, students will be able to articulate habits of the learning mind (intellectual, motivational, emotional, self-awareness, self-directedness). They will be able to explain what an intentional learner is and what an intentional learner does by establishing personalized learning goals and strategies. Through the study of a variety of texts that focus on the definition and value of a liberal education, students will examine philosophical questions about what it means to be educated, the need for a college education, and strategies for becoming an intentional learner. Through class discussion and a personalized education plan, students will be able to articulate habits of the learning mind (intellectual, motivational, emotional, self-awareness, self-directedness). They will be able to explain what an intentional learner is and what an intentional learner does by establishing personalized learning goals and strategies.

2: Students will be able to identify the College's general education outcomes and design an educational objective that will enable them to achieve those outcomes. Through the context of what it means to be educated, students will understand the parts of the degree and each of the College's general outcomes. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the outcomes and their own plans for achieving the outcomes through class discussions, quizzes, assignments, and a personalized education plan.

3: Students will be able to validate knowledge from a variety of perspectives. The course theme will be studied from three different disciplinary perspectives. Class discussions will focus on ways meaning is constructed within each particular discipline. For example, understanding what constitutes credibility in one discipline might be very similar and/or different from what constitutes credibility in another. By the end of the course, students will understand that different disciplines make and validate knowledge in similar, yet unique ways. They will demonstrate their ability to read, understand, and utilize credible sources in their assignments, class presentations, exams, and class discussions.

4: Students will be able to understand and practice methods of communication. Students will have opportunities to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and they will receive instruction and feedback on improving both. They will demonstrate their writing ability in their educational plan and their signature assignment. They will demonstrate their ability to orally communicate through their group presentation component of their signature assignment.

5: Students will be able to read critically, with a particular understanding of multiple disciplinary conventions. Students will read a variety of texts from multiple disciplines, and discussion questions and writing prompts are designed to elicit critical responses. Quizzes, class discussions, and writing assignments will provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to read critically and effectively.

6: Students will be able to articulate roles and responsibilities inherent in teamwork, and they will be able to work effectively as a member of a team. A major component of the course is the group project. Students will learn the principles of effective teamwork and apply those principles to their own projects as they work together and use multiple perspectives to analyze a problem, create an argument, and prepare a presentation. They will have the opportunity to evaluate themselves and each other using a teamwork rubric that emphasizes sound teamwork design philosophies.


Content:
Specific content will be determined by interdisciplinary teams, but all courses will provide context and opportunity for students to successfully meet the following expectations: 1. develop a definition of what it means to be educated, understand the College's general education outcomes, and formally construct their own educational objective. 2. read at least 150 pages of text. 3. write 10-20 pages of formal and informal text (educational objective, research project, essay exams, journals, in-class writing activity, summaries, analyses) 4. give an oral presentation. 5. demonstrate the fundamentals of teamwork. 6. produce artifacts that demonstrate GE student learning outcomes.

Key Performance Indicators:
Assignments 10 to 30%

Quizzes and Exams 10 to 50%

Educational Plan 10 to 30%

Signature Assignment, including group presentation 25 to 50%


Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Sanders, Matthew L. Becoming a Learner: Realizing the Opportunity of Education. Utah State University, 2012.

Plummer, Thomas. "Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome." Brigham Young University, 1990.

Catarella, Marcia Y. "Just Not Feeling it--Or When You Don't Love a Subject You Have to Take." Huffington Post 10 Jan 2015.

Raff, Jennifer. "How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper." Huffington Post 18 Jun 2014.

Elle, Luna. The Crossroads of Should and Must. 2015.

Duckworth, Angela. "Grit." Tedtalk

Dweck, Carol. "The Power of Believing that you Can Improve." Tedtalk

Snow College "Intentional Learner" guide.


Pedagogy Statement:
Based upon philosophies of high impact practices, this course will utilize pedagogical practices designed to create a safe learning environment that promotes student engagement. Students will engage in meaningful interactions with peers and faculty, they will be challenged to use higher order thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, application), and they will be asked to incorporate reflection and integration into their learning. Classes will incorporate lecture, class discussion, and group work.

Instructional Mediums:
Lecture

IVC

Online

Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 25