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UNIV 112 Syllabus

Daily Schedule


[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.


This image is a circular pie chart. Each wedge has an arrow going to the next wedge in an unending loop. The wedges are labeled as follows. Info retrieval: research writing assignments and presentations, reading assignments. Written communication: 4 formal papers, regular blog posts. Oral communication: 1 group-led discussion and one individual presentation, class discussions. Collaboration: Group led discussion and in-class workshops and discussion. Quantitative reasoning: Thinking about numbers in papers and class discussion. Ethical reasoning: Determining and applying morality to a variety of issues: in papers, discussion of readings. Critical thinking: all written and oral assignments, and also regular reading assignments. This image was created by Dr. Beth Kreydatus of FI.
This image was created by Dr. Beth Kreydatus of FI.

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.


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.


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!

Daily Schedule

The daily schedule explains what work we will do on each day of class.  Click here to see it!

Grading Schema

A grading schema shows how much each assignment will count for in terms of your overall course grade:

This is a bar graph labeled 112 Grade Breakdown. In blue, and labeled content-based grades, are the Unit 1 Paper at 10%, the Unit 2 Paper at 15%, the Unit 3 Paper at 20%, the Unit 2 Teach Class for a Day at 10%, and the Unit 3 Individual Presentation at 5%. In orange, and labeled Completion-Based Grades, are Drafts and Comments, Lock and Key/Daily Work, Attendance, and Self-Evaluations at 10% each.
Click to zoom.

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%).

Attendance Policy

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!

Assignment Submissions

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:

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.

University Policies

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).


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