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Critical Thinking and Oral Communication
Section: 032 Mon/Wed 2:30-3:20 AH3 1.308 Instructor: Leah Nall Office Location: GR 4.524 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org First Year Leader: Asha Mathews Email: email@example.com
Required Materials: • Cohen, Harlan, (2009). The Naked Roommate, 3e. Sourcebooks, Inc. Naperville. • DiTiberio, John, K. & Hammer, Allen, L. (1993). Introduction to Type in College, CPP, Inc. Palo Alto. • UTD student email account Recommended Materials: • Cohen, Harlan, The Naked Roommate 2009 – 2010 Planner Sourcebooks, Inc. Naperville
Course Objectives: • • • • To connect you with the UTD campus community through department presentations, campus involvement, community service, and interactions with peers. To help you discover your personal learning style and ways to use that knowledge to achieve greater success and enjoyment in your classes. To present tips, tactics, and techniques for more effective learning, emphasizing time management strategies, critical thinking, and the use of campus resources. To enhance your communication skills through opportunities for both oral and written expression.
Coursework & Grading Philosophy: • • RHET 1101 is a required course for all incoming freshmen as it has been effective in raising GPA’s, retention from the freshman to sophomore year, and overall student satisfaction and success. UTD is a selective admissions institution with one of the highest average Freshman class SAT scores in the state, therefore performance and participation in RHET 1101 is expected to reflect the caliber of students and academic standards of the university as a whole. The course objectives for RHET 1101 represent goals which are fundamental to student success both inside and outside of the college classroom.
Course Requirements and Grading: • • • • • • • • Class Attendance Academic Autobiography Campus Event Attendance Service Project Participation Oral Presentation: Expert Testimony Group Project & Presentation Risk Project Final Exam 300 points 100 points 400 points 200 points 100 points 150 points 160 points 150 points 1560 points A+ A AB+ B B1201 – 1247 1138 – 1200 1092– 1137 1045 – 1091 982 – 1044 936 - 981 Below 936 C+ C CD+ D DF
Total 1560 1450 – 1559 1404 – 1449 1357 – 1403 1294 – 1356 1248 – 1293
*RHET1101 is a requirement for graduation. If you drop the course or fail it, you must take Study Skills (DRDG 194) in the Spring. It will be recoded as RHET 1101 in order to give you credit for the course and enable you to replace your low grade or W.
Course & Instructor Policies
Cell phones must be turned off or to vibrate and are not to be answered or used for text messaging during class time. Unless otherwise noted, laptops are NOT necessary for taking notes in class and should not be opened at any time.
Food and drink should be kept to a minimum and put away once class begins. Arriving late is disruptive to class activities and may affect your attendance and participation grade. If you have a legitimate reason for being late, please inform your instructor ahead of time or immediately after class.
Class Attendance (300 points) This is a discussion-based class that involves collaborative learning and interactive exercises in order to explore a variety of topics relative to your transition to college life and The University of Texas at Dallas. Therefore, it is critical that you come to class to take part in the activities and contribute to the class dynamics. For an excused absence, you must adhere to the following: • All students participating on UTD competitive teams (athletic and intellectual) must bring an official Intercollegiate Competition Memo signed by John Jackson prior to any sanctioned absences. Students must inform the instructor of the impending absence at least 2 weeks prior to the absence. If this does not occur, it is at the instructor’s discretion to excuse or not excuse the absence. • Any anticipated absence arranged through Disability Services must be shared with the instructor at least 2 weeks prior to the absence. If this does not occur, it is at the instructor’s discretion to excuse or not excuse the absence. Students observing a holy day must inform the instructor before the class day to be missed
Academic Autobiography (100 points) You will write a minimum 4 page paper about your life as a student thus far and considering where you want to go with your major and career, examining your experiences in the context of your learning style, based on your score on The Paragon Learning Style Inventory (PLSI). Oral Presentation: Expert Testimony (100 points) You will prepare a 2 – 2½ minute talk about something familiar to you and that you would like to share with the class. Group Project & Presentation (150 points) You will work with a group of your classmates to explore issues related to making a successful transition to college life through The Naked Roommate and other sources. Your findings will form the basis of a minimum 8 minute oral presentation to the class.
UTD Campus Exploration (400 points) You will attend a variety of four on-campus events in order to discover what UTD has to offer in the way of student services, personal resources, social opportunities, and entertainment. A community service option is available to count for two of the events. UTD Community Service Project Participation (200 points) You will participate in at least one campus-sponsored service project event. Community service is a strong initiative for the University of Texas at Dallas and it offers a wonderful way to develop skills related to your future career, make connections with the community, socialize with fellow Comets, and give back to your local community. Take A Risk (160 points) You will identify ways in which getting out of your comfort zone will help you grow as a person and enable you to successfully achieve your goals. You’ll take a risk, then write about the thoughts and experiences leading up to it and your conclusions about the experience afterwards in a minimum 4 page paper. Final Exam This will be your opportunity to demonstrate what you have gained over the course of the semester. Written Assignment Format All assignments are due on the specified due date – NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED!! Also, unless otherwise stated, all work must exhibit the following format: • • • • • • A coherent essay that addresses all required elements of the assignment. Typed, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins. Students should include their name, section number, and date on all work. Papers should be free of typos, spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors. Vocabulary should reflect that of a college student, and writing style should be mature and cognizant of the instructor as audience. If submitted via email, papers must be sent as an attachment, from your UTD email account, following the above format and submitted on or before the specified due date.
Failure to adhere to any of the above will result in: • A 10 % deduction for incorrect format. • A 5 % deduction for multiple typos, spelling and grammatical errors. • A 5 % deduction for poor language use and/or a disrespectful voice in the paper. • No points for work turned in after the specified due date.
If you experience any problems with your UTD account you may send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the UTD Computer Helpdesk at 972-883-2911.
Field Trip Policies Off-campus Instruction and Course Activities
Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean. Below is a description of any travel and/or risk-related activity associated with this course.
Student Conduct & Discipline
The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD printed publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391) and online at http://www.utdallas.edu/judicialaffairs/UTDJudicialAffairs-HOPV.html A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. Scholastic Dishonesty, any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline. Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts. Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials, including music and software. Copying, displaying, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works may infringe the copyright owner’s rights and such infringement is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as well as criminal penalties provided by federal law. Usage of such material is only appropriate when that usage constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright Act. As a UT Dallas student, you are required to follow the institution’s copyright policy (Policy Memorandum 84-I.3-46). For more information about the fair use exemption, see http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/copypol2.htm
The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange. The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.
Withdrawal from Class
The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.
Student Grievance Procedures
Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.
Incomplete Grade Policy
As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.
The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is: The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22 PO Box 830688 Richardson, Texas 75083-0688 (972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY) email@example.com If you anticipate issues related to the format or requirements of this course, please meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Coordinator is available to discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the course. If you determine that formal, disability-related accommodations are necessary, it is very important that you be registered with Disability Services to notify them of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Disability Services can then plan how best to coordinate your accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.
Religious Holy Days
The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated. The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.
These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.
Course Schedule (MW)
August 24 Syllabus Overview, Welcome Week Event Highlights PLSI (take home) 26 UTDAT, Discuss PLSI results 31 Group Resume’ September 2 Introduction to The Naked Roommate Group Project: Group work day 7 NO CLASS 9 DUE: Academic Autobiography; Identifying Your Comfort Zone The Importance of Public Speaking & Elements of a Good Oral Presentation 14 DUE: Campus Event #1 Meet in SOM 1.118 (Davidson Auditorium) - Presentation: Academic Integrity 16 DUE: Assessing Your Comfort Zone, Class discussion on taking risks 21 Oral Presentation: Expert Testimony 23 Oral Presentation: Expert Testimony DUE: Planning Your Change 28 Meet in SOM 1.118 (Davidson Auditorium) - Presentation: Counseling Center 30 Time Management October 5 DUE: Campus Event #2, Library Visit *Meet in front lobby of Library* 7 $$$ Money: How to get it AND keep it! 12 Group Presentation #1 and follow-up discussion 14 Academic Integrity, “You Make the Call” exercise 19 Exercise in Ethics HIV/AIDS 21 Alcohol/Drugs 101 26 Group Presentation #2 and follow-up discussion 28 Test Anxiety November 2 DUE: Campus Event #3, Catalog/Schedule Quiz “Advising Highlights” 4 FYL Presentation 9 Group Presentation #3 and follow-up discussion 11 Technology Discussion 16 Relationships 101 18 DUE: Campus Event #4 + OSV Event, Group Presentation #4 23 NO CLASS 25 FYL Presentation 30 Battle of the Sexes December 2 DUE: Risk Paper, Final Exam
Goal: To give you the opportunity to reflect on your life as a student and incorporate your understanding of your learning style. Write a paper discussing the following items and provide insight as to the influence of your learning “personality” on these experiences. Be specific, using information from the Understanding Type in College book to illustrate your points. Your paper should be a minimum of 5 full pages in length. (100 points) Begin by stating your learning style according to the PLSI and give a brief summary of the elements of this style. Then, discuss in autobiographical format, the following: • • • What has been your best academic experience thus far? How has it affected your approach to school over the years? Who are the teachers that influenced you the most, and in what ways? What has been the biggest challenge with regard to your education thus far? • What made it such a challenge? • Did it change your perception of yourself as a student? • Did it affect your attitude toward school and learning? • How did you get through it? • In what ways do you limit yourself, or hold yourself back in some way? When did you first sense the particular ways in which you prefer to learn? How did you discover your learning style? Discuss your current thoughts about a career path. • • • • • • • • If you don’t know what direction you would like to go, what majors/careers might you look into based on your learning style? Explain why these have good potential. If you have selected a major/career path: What is appealing about it to you? How do the job possibilities mesh with your learning style? Are there any particular challenges to this major/career path that may result from your learning style? Explain.
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Now that you know your learning style, what can you do to get more out of your classes and reach your academic goals? What are you most looking forward to during your college experience at UTD?
UTD Campus Exploration & Community Service Project
Goals – To show you the variety of things UTD has to offer in the way of • Sports • Entertainment • Cultural & multicultural experiences • Academic support & enrichment beyond the classroom • Personal wellness & development • Extracurricular clubs and organizations • Social opportunities • Community Service & Volunteerism
• You will attend 4 on-campus events/experiences over the course of the semester, one from each of the designated categories. Each event/experience is worth 100 points, for a total possible of 400 points. You will participate in 1 UTD-sponsored community service event worth 200 points.
Event Cards • For each event you attend, complete one Event Card and attach some form of official proof of your attendance. Proof can either be something distributed by staff at the event, a paper punch or ink stamp on your card, a program agenda or program, or other event materials. Instructors have information as to legitimate proof for each event. Any questionable submissions may result in no credit being awarded for attendance. For your community service project, you will receive an OSV card as proof of participation.
Deadlines for Submission Campus Event Cards and your OSV card may be turned in at any time following your campus/service experience, within the following parameters: First due date: Second due date: Third due date: Fourth due date: YOU MAY TURN IN UP TO 4 EVENTS. YOU MAY NOT TURN IN MORE THAN 3 EVENTS. YOU MAY NOT TURN IN MORE THAN 2 EVENTS. YOU MAY NOT TURN IN MORE THAN ONE EVENT.
[Over for Campus Event Categories]
Campus Event Categories
You must attend at least one event from each of the different categories highlighted below. The events listed are just examples, and many more events are likely to qualify for this assignment. If you are uncertain as to whether or not an event counts for this assignment, or which category it belongs to, please ask your instructor. You can find a complete list of campus happenings through: • The Online or hard copy of the Comet Calendar • The Mercury • The Electronic Sign by the Conference Center • The Arts & Humanities Events page • Your First Year Leader or Instructor • Bulletin Boards and Flyers Campus and Social Integration NCAA Athletic Events (Volleyball, soccer, basketball) Welcome Week Games/Waterview parties Meteor Theater Movies SUAAB Events (Casino Night, Karaoke Night, etc.) Intramural Sports Participation Club Sports Participation Student Government Meeting Attendance Campus Club or Organization Meeting Attendance SOF Meeting Attendance Personal Wellness Women’s Center Seminars/Speakers Counseling Center Seminars Health Education/Health Center Seminar or Event Disability Awareness Week Office of Student Volunteerism Academic Enhancement Career Center Seminar McDermott Library Tour Learning Resource Center (calculus study session, use of writing lab, etc.) Office of International Education Seminar Office of Judicial Affairs Seminar & Academic Integrity Week Academic Department Brown Bag or Speaker Cultural Awareness Multicultural Center Event International Student Services Event Musical Concerts and Theater Productions Theater Productions Art Barn Exhibit
Oral Presentation: Expert Testimony
Goal: To enable you to become more comfortable with public speaking and develop your communication skills in a small, familiar environment. Assignment: 1. Prepare a 2 - 2½ minute presentation on a topic you know very well. This could be a hobby, a particular academic subject, your home town, a favorite book, etc. No research should be necessary. 2. Practice your presentation so that you are prepared and comfortable with what you are going to say. You will not be allowed to use note cards, prompts or PowerPoint. 3. Consider the following: • Well organized presentation of information - Just because the information is familiar to you, doesn’t mean everyone will know what you’re talking about. Rambling about any topic is never going to make people want to listen to you. Deliver the information you want to share or the story you want to tell in an interesting, easy to follow manner that makes sense to the naïve listener. • Substantial content appropriate for time frame – Even brief speeches must have substance. Make yours and everyone’s time worthwhile by saying something worth listening to. • Ability to engage your audience – You’ll be listening a lot more than you’ll be talking and you don’t want to be bored. Don’t be the one who puts everyone else to sleep. • Adherence to time limit – Even professionals have a time limit. It’s critical to accomplish what you want to in the minimal time you are given without going over or coming up short. It takes practice to get this down. 4. This assignment is worth 100 points. Check your syllabus for presentation date.
Group Project Guidelines*
Guidelines for Planning a Group Project While every group (and every project for that matter) is unique, certain tasks seem to present themselves no matter what the particular group’s assigned project is. The following group project task list offers a suggested order for approaching a project. It’s certainly possible to do these steps in a different order if you wish. But taking the time to accomplish each step will help you produce better work. It’s also likely that you’ll have to go back and forth between steps. In other words, your group may decide that it needs to repeat one of more of these steps in or to correct deficiencies that become apparent after the group thinks that it has “finished” one part of its preparation. Group Project Task List STEP #1: ORIENTATION • • Group members need to learn who everyone is – exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. and keep a record of this information. Discuss what the group is expected to do – don’t assume that the requirements of the group project are clear to everyone. More often than not, people are not always sure about what the group is expected to do.
STEP #2: DIVISION OF LABOR • • • • • • • Divide the project up into a series of smaller steps or parts. Put the parts of the project into a time sequence – in what order must each step or part of the project be done? Agree on a time table – when must each part of the project be finished? Agree on who is responsible for each part of the project. Agree on what each person must PRODUCE for their part of the project by the agreed upon deadline. BE SPECIFIC – everyone in the group must agree to turn in something tangible to the group at a stated time. Agree about what to do if people in the group “get behind” and won’t be able to meet a deadline. Agree upon a schedule of meetings – most groups think all they need to do to divide up the work, meet five minutes before the presentation, and “whip it together.” You can do it this way, but the approach rarely works!
STEP #3: ASSESSMENT • • • • Use some of your group meetings to review what members have accomplished up to that point. Have group members provide feedback about each other’s work – is the material provided by the member what the group needs, is something missing, what else needs to be done? Set new expectations and deadlines as appropriate – groups usually discover as the project moves along that the original time table and division of group member responsibilities needs to be modified. Take the time to do that so that the work doesn’t all pile up at the end. Pay attention to possible gaps in the group’s work – are there important topics or tasks that the group is overlooking?
STEP #4: PRESENTATION PLANNING • Once the research on the project is fairly far along, the group needs to turn its attention to the question of HOW to orally present the material that the group has gathered. MANY GROUPS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF WANTING TO TALK ABOUT THE PLAN FOR THE PRESENTATION TOO SOON. Wait until the group has idea of what they’ll be talking about. Decide on a presentation topic Determine who will serve as the presentation moderator Make decisions about physical arrangements for the presentation Practice Work to improve delivery skills of the group members
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