WHAT IS FOCUSED INQUIRY?
[Note: insert welcome video here]
Focused Inquiry is about asking questions. Good questions. Thoughtful questions. Probing questions. All kinds of questions. It is also about finding different ways to develop, challenge, and respond to these questions.
WHAT WILL WE WORK ON?
FI classes engage with a variety of topics and themes to help you develop and refine the core skills of the course. In our class, we will spend much of the year thinking about the issues of inclusivity and diversity.
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR:
Hello, I’m Dr. Spock! I am from the planet Vulcan and my interests, when not teaching, include playing 3D chess. My contact information is MrSpock@Enterprise.ncc and my office is On the Bridge. For more information on me, click here.
USING THE COURSE SYLLABUS:
This document serves as a condensed version of the more comprehensive course guide in order to help you identify some of the key aspects of this class. If you have questions about how to read a course policy guide or daily schedule, visit the “How to Read a Syllabus” page for definitions and explanations!
The daily schedule explains what work we will do on each day of class. Click here to see it!
A grading schema shows how much each assignment will count for in terms of your overall course grade:
Your major assignments are the Unit 1 (10%), Unit 2 (15%), and Unit 3 (20%) papers, the Teach Class for a Day assignment (10%), the Unit 3 Individual Presentation (5%), writing drafts of papers and leaving revision comments on same (10%), the Lock and Key posts (10%), Attendance (10%), and the Self-Evaluations (10%).
UNIV 112 requires prepared, active participation during class sessions. As a result, attendance is mandatory. You may have up to 10 absences. For the first 3 absences, no grade penalty results. Afterwards, I take off a little bit of your grade for every absence. On absence 11, you will automatically fail the course, even if you are doing well on all the assignments.
If you are in the military or represent the university, special rules apply to you.
Technology Use and Other Community Guidelines
We will have a discussion about classroom technology with a focus on inclusivity and diversity early in this course! You will write this section of the syllabus and hold yourself to these standards throughout the year. Check back soon for more info!
All assignments will be submitted as Google Doc. Instructions for formatting Google documents will vary by assignment; see the assignment prompts for more info. However, VCU Writes! will help you format APA and MLA style in general.
Classroom and Digital Identity Management
Managing who you are in relation to others is a significant thematic component of this class. This means being aware of yourself and others in our physical classroom space as well as in digital space. We will have conversations about this early in the year. However, you may find these links useful in the meantime:
- the blogging assignment contains a discussion of digital identity
- the extended course policy guide contains a departmental statement about digital identity
- my About Me page contains an example of digital identity management
- Beverly Tatum’s “The Complexity of Identity” in the FI Reader is useful in thinking about this; we’ll read it together soon!
Diversity and Community
In a diverse classroom, we recognize that everyone, including the teacher, experiences intersectionality, which shapes our narrative lenses and therefore our ability to interpret the world. We resist making assumptions about why people are behaving in given ways. And we don’t allow factors that don’t have to do with our intellectual and academic circumstances, choices, and capacities to affect grades and/or learning outcomes.
As a result, there may be reasons that you would like to talk to me personally about your specific circumstances. One example might be needing to provide me with a university-official DSS letter requesting specific academic accommodations. Another example might be wanting to let me know that you sometimes have to manage your childcare, and may need to leave the classroom to answer your phone sometimes. I welcome all these conversations! Let’s discuss. And remember that in a diverse classroom, everyone is free to own the public identity they choose for themselves for that environment, including what they choose to share and what they would prefer not to share.
These are a list of rules that apply to all classes unversity-wide. See the extended course policy guide for more info (scroll to the bottom).