UNIV 111-017 Focused Inquiry I: Fall 2015MWF 1:00 – 1:50PMHarris Hall, Room 5136Instructor: Stan KusteskyEmail: [email protected]Office Location: Harris Hall 5108Office Phone: 827-8245Office Hours: MW 12:00 – 1:00 PM; 3:00 – 4:00 PM; and by appointmentCourse Goals As the first part of a two-semester course sequence, UNIV 111 will help you build the skills essential for successful university work. Designed to mirror the thinking and writing challenges that students encounter as they move through their undergraduate programs, UNIV 111 will lay the foundation for eachof the skill areas of the VCU Core Curriculum.Critical Thinking: think critically about texts, ideas, and the elements of argumentWriting Proficiency: create formal and informal pieces of writing in a variety of genres, including reflective, narrative, summary, analytical, and argumentativeCollaborative Learning: work with peers on group assignments, projects, and classroom activitiesOral Communication: build communication skills essential for academic work and life through active participation in whole class and small group discussions as well as formal presentationsInformation Fluency: critically read and respond to textsEthical and Civic Responsibility: Explore principles of ethical and civic responsibility and analyze ethical problems and viewpointsQuantitative Literacy: recognize how quantitative information may be used as evidenceThe course material provides you with opportunities to learn the skills and practice the strategies that will enhance your subsequent academic performance in all disciplines, as well as facilitate professional success and lifelong learning. UNIV 111 applies the notion of the "spiral curriculum" in that you will repeat activities that allow you to revisit analytical concepts and practices, building upon these until you have grasped and internalized the steps of the analytical process. Each “level” of this “spiral curriculum”will be more complex and involved, so that you will sharpen your thinking as you move through the course.Specifically, the UNIV 111 curriculum hones your ability to summarize, interpret, analyze, evaluate, and infer based on appropriate evidence. By the end of the course, you will be equipped to generate substantive critical responses, both written and oral, based on evidence, facts, logical conclusions, and reasons, rather than on personal assumptions or unreflective assertions.The course is divided into three related units. The units are:Experience/Culture/Text Text/Context Context/Argument
Each unit provides a set of framing questions to begin discussion and utilizes a series of readings and activities designed to raise more questions and present intellectual problems. You will engage with these questions and problems through reading, writing, and classroom discussion.Discussion is also emphasized through online discussion participation, formal individual essay response and peer review, and collaborative presentation projects.