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Honors Seminars: Student Learning Outcomes

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Examples of Honors Seminars as of 2013-2014:

    • City as Text (a yearly international travel/study opportunity)
    • FYE: Beauty through the Lens of Big History/Visualizing the Sacred Through the Lens of Big History
    • Moral Philosophy
    • Colloquium: 
      • The Middle Ages- Era of Enduring Relevance: Medieval Art and Medieval Europe
      • Science and Society: Experimental Moral Philosophy and The Ethical Brain
    • Aquatic Ecosystems
    • Bay Area Rocks: Geology of Northern California

     

      First Year Foundations Seminars:Through the Lens of Big History

      Students will deepen their comprehension of the breadth and depth of human intellectual and creative expression in the liberal arts and be globally informed.  The seminars will draw themes from art, art history, history, literature, music, philosophy, science, and social and cultural studies.  The themes of both seminars will vary each year to provide exposure to great scholars and scholarly works from different disciplines.

      First Year Foundation Seminar: Beauty through the Lens of Big History  (3 units)

      Student Learning Outcomes:

      The students will demonstrate:

      1. The ability to describe and analyze the use of visual arts to narrate the story of our universe by identifying and comparing the social, political, artistic, and intellectual values of different cultures as demonstrated in the visual arts.
      • Assessment:  Exams, essays on exams and integrative paper.  Correct identification, analysis and interpretation of visual images within their cultural context on exams, comparison essays on exams and an integrative paper.
    • An understanding of and the ability to assess and analyze world issues from historical and contemporary perspectives as implications of Big History.
      • Assessment:  Exams, essays on exams and final research paper.  Students need to demonstrate their correct analysis and description of visual images on exams and their awareness of the social/cultural/historical contexts in which these images were created.
    • The ability to formulate a research question, locate and evaluate appropriate sources, and extract, synthesize, and apply information.
      • Assessment:  Final research paper, which successfully argues a thesis and is supported by appropriately, formatted documentation.
    • Development of their Honors Portfolio.
    •  

      First Year Foundation Seminar: Visualizing the Sacred Through the Lens of Big History  (3 units)

      Student Learning Outcomes:

      The students will demonstrate:

      1. The ability to describe and analyze the use of visual arts to narrate the story of our universe by identifying and comparing the social, political, artistic, and intellectual values of different cultures as demonstrated in the visual arts.
      • Assessment:  Exams, essays on exams and integrative paper.  Correct identification, analysis and interpretation of visual images within their cultural context on exams, comparison essays on exams and an integrative paper.
    • An understanding of and the ability to assess and analyze world issues from historical and contemporary perspectives as implications of Big History.
      • Assessment:  Exams, essays on exams and final research paper.  Students need to demonstrate their correct analysis and description of visual images on exams and their awareness of the social/cultural/historical contexts in which these images were created.
    • The ability to formulate a research question, locate and evaluate appropriate sources, and extract, synthesize, and apply information.
      • Assessment:  Final research paper which successfully argues a thesis and is supported by appropriately formatted documentation.
    • Development of their Honors Portfolio.       
    •  

      Honors Seminar (1 unit)

      Pass/ Fail class that meets once a week.  This course will provide a framework to guide students through their academic career.  Students will learn about internships, resumes, interviews, library resources, study abroad, and communication via internet media like emails, videos and blogs.  Also, students will be given opportunities to become an active participant on campus or int he community through service, research, and leadership.

      1. Identification and comparison of the social, political, artistic, and intellectual values of different cultures
      2. Appreciation of scholarship by studying works of other scholars and interacting with scholars
      3. Critical and creative thinking skills
      4. Organization and development of an Honors Portfolio

      Second Year Seminars

      Sophomore Seminar: Reflection (3 units)

      Sustained engagement of questions of God, social betterment, and individual human fulfillment through the study of Biblical literature, Christian theology and social justice ideals, and/or the world’s religious traditions. 

      • Course that fulfills the requirement: Worldviews and Practices of the Great Religions (3 units)

      Student Learning Outcomes:

      Students will demonstrate: 

      1. An expanded perspective on the worlds of meaning in which other people of faith live.
      2. A basic knowledge of the religious traditions covered in this course, an understanding of their similarities and differences, and a sympathetic appreciation for their value within their respective cultures and among their practitioners.
      3. A basic understanding of the term “worldview” (weltanschauung, literally, “taking a view of the world”) as it relates to major forces of belief and feeling (both religious and secular) that influence our existence.  
      4. An awareness of the study of religion as an integral aspect for developing a well-rounded and educated picture of our ever-increasing global community.
      5. The ability to produce a college level paper that responds appropriately to the assignment, is well organized, and employs the elements of good writing and critical thinking.
      6. Development of individual and collaborative critical thinking skills.
      7. An expanded competence in speaking and listening.
      8. An opportunity to recognize the religious plurality of the world and to critically and compassionately evaluate this plurality in light of your own evolving ideals.  
      9. An expanded perspective on your own personal values and heritage.
      10. Please note that at no time is it the intent of this professor or the University to attempt to “convert” you to any religion, or to rate one religion over another (or over “no religion”).  The intent, as for all liberal arts teaching, is to broaden your understandings, develop your critical thinking, and provide you with a well-rounded foundation.

      Sophomore Seminar: Ethics in Service (3 units)

      Examination of contemporary movements in ethical theory, focusing on the essential need for moral meaning and its modern implications. Themes include questions of identity, responsibility, perception of and relation to the “other.” Critical analysis of texts and key issues will be performed and understanding of key issues will be deepened through a service component that allows for active cultivation and expression of core values in the local community.

      • Course that fulfills the requirement: Self, Community, and Service: Ethical Theory and Practice (3 units)

      Student Learning Outcomes:

      Students will demonstrate:

      1. Synthesize, interpret, and illuminate ethical concepts concerning individual and collective values and issues in relationship to the service experience (integrating theory and practice).
      • Weekly written responses to course readings and reflections on service experience demonstrating critical reading/thinking skills and an ability to identify central themes.
      • 5-7 page capstone paper that integrates the academic and the service experience, deepening the understanding of both          
    • Employ critical and creative thinking skills to make connections between course readings, discussions, and most crucially, the experience of working with a community partner. 
      • Interactive blog postings/comments
      • Participation in class reflections, discussion, exercises
      • Significant moment log
    • Analyze and discuss research related to root causes of specific ethical/social justice issues related to the work of your community partner.Annotated bibliography and presentation of root causes of social issues your community partner organization addresses or encounters through the work they do. Turn in annotated bibliography of research with clearly identified research question.
    • Demonstrate accountability and openness to diverse groups and ways of learning through fulfillment of commitment to community partner.
      • Completion of mid-term and final self-evaluations.
      • Community partner evaluation, learning agreement, time log.
    • Design and support opportunities to “think together” and the ways in which we construct knowledge together and learn from each other.
      • Lead class discussion
      • Showing up/Participation in class discussion, reflection and other activities.

      General Education in Biology for Honors:

      This class provides a holistic view of aquatic ecosystems: water and soil quality as well as plant and animal diversity. A major focus is comprehension of how environmental issues like sustainability, natural disasters, and invasive species affect humans then develop and implement a civic project regarding these issues. The laboratory component includes gathering samples in the field and interpreting data in the laboratory. While classroom activities (lecture and laboratory) will supply the foundation of knowledge in this course, research participation through our community partner (service-learning) will present an opportunity to employ this knowledge, as well as provide hands-on experience regarding human impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

      • Course that fulfills the requirement: Aquatic Ecosystems: Bay Area (4 units)

      Loch Lomand 2012: Students Collecting Settling Plates

      2012 Aquatic Ecosystems

      Drakes Bay Oyster Farm 2013: Students sample the Farm's Oysters
      Aquatic Ecosystems 2013 

        Student Learning Outcomes:

        Students will demonstrate: 

        1. Comprehend fundamental scientific concepts regarding aquatic ecosystems.
        2. Demonstrate the ability to perform techniques in modern science through Community-based research.
        3. Integrate scientific concepts and techniques using the scientific method to address relevant research questions in aquatic ecosystems through community-based research.
        4. Practice objectivity in scientific investigations by suspending preliminary judgments, drawing conclusions only from observable and testable data, and attempting to exclude cultural assumptions and biases.
        5. Join together concepts of scientific and humanistic study to understand the interaction of science and human values through work with our community partner.
        6. Effectively communicate the results of the community-based research project through written assignments and oral presentations.
        7. Organize and development Honors Portfolios contributions.

               CEP Approved 12/10/04 Page 3 Faculty Forum Approved 2/4/05.

        General Education in Physical Earth Science

        This class investigates the unique geology of the Bay Area and Northern California. It explores how the geology and physical environment have and continue to shape the way people live here. Topics will be influenced by relevant current issues, examples include: geology of the region, resource use and allocation, water rights, development limitations and energy generation. Laboratory investigations will take place as much as possible in the field, using local State Parks, National Recreation Areas, and educational institutions to illustrate the concepts and issues. Students will engage in a civic outreach project that benefits the local community.

        • Course that fulfills the requirement: Bay Area Rocks: Geology in Northern California (4 units)

        Fall 2013: Students Visiting Marin Headlands
             Revised Funny Bay Area Rocks         Revised Nice Bay Area Rocks Class Photo

          Student Learning Outcomes:

          Students will demonstrate: 

          1. Civic engagement in their local community 
          2. Organization and development of an Honors Portfolio 
          3. To understand how the scientific method is used to carry out a quantitative experiment, develop a hypothesis and research protocol, analyze data, interpret and assess reliability of results, and draw reasonable conclusions. 
          4. To communicate scientific results effectively in written and oral form including use of figures, graphs, and presentation software. 
          5. To explain key scientific ideas covered in the class.
          6. To show the relevance of scientific findings to current social, political, and/or ethical issues.
          7. Understand the basic tenets of geology, focusing on those relevant to the Bay Area and Northern California                   
          8. Understand how data is gathered in the field and laboratory, as well as present and interpret data. 
          9. Understand the relationship between the people who live in the Bay Area/Northern California and the resources required to support them such as water, energy and infrastructure.  

            Third Year Seminars

            Colloquium:

            Students will enroll in two interrelated 3-unit courses taken during one semester, and investigate a particular era, theme, or geographical area. The theme will vary from year to year.

            Course that fulfills the requirement: Cultural Heritage Colloquium (6 units) as approved by the Honors Director.

            • Course that fulfills the requirement: The Middle Ages -- Era of Enduring Relevance (HONO CLQ 3030/3031)

                Medieval Art (HONO CLQ 3030):

                This colloquium is designed to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of the medieval period (c400-1400) and its appeal and continuing relevance in the world today. The stimulating and culturally diverse interchanges and syntheses of the medieval era are investigated through multiple lenses – social, cultural, political, artistic, religious, literary, and historical. Although the medieval period may often be regarded as a “bygone” era, the dynamic interchanges between diverse cultural groups that took place during this historical era have had dramatic and continuing repercussions on the world today.  Many of the political and cultural controversies in today’s world have their roots in the medieval period. This colloquium focuses on the themes of: race, gender and class (the relationship between individuals and their societies, the roles of men and women in medieval and modern society, the encounters among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim civilizations and “others” in the medieval and modern world, and the formation of past and modern nation states.) The colloquium provides students with insights into one of the most artistically and historically rich and fascinating periods of human history while focusing upon the ways in which careful study of the medieval era results in much greater understanding of the modern world. 

                 Student Learning Outcomes

                 Students will demonstrate:

                1. Identify and discuss important themes and symbols in works of art from the medieval period B via B their study and analysis of these artistic themes/symbols and their ability to discuss and correctly identify these in written work (essays and exams.)
                2. Identify and discuss the significance of works of art produced during different time periods and by different cultural groups during the Middle Ages – via B discussing and correctly identifying art works in written work (essays and exams.)
                3. Demonstrate an interdisciplinary understanding of the values, ideas and/or issues of medieval people and relate them to contemporary issues – via – reflective essays and the final project.
                4. Demonstrate the ability to engage in research in their production of written papers demonstrating scholarly skills, advanced level writing and correct source citation format – via – short essays and the final term paper.
                5. Completion of these goals will also result in student’s development of their Honors portfolios.

                 

                Medieval Europe (HONO CLQ 3031):

                 This colloquium is designed to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of the medieval period (c400-1400) and its appeal and continuing relevance in the world today. The stimulating and culturally diverse interchanges and syntheses of the medieval era are investigated through multiple lenses – social, cultural, political, artistic, religious, literary, and historical. Although the medieval period may often be regarded as a “bygone” era, the dynamic interchanges between diverse cultural groups that took place during this historical era have had dramatic and continuing repercussions on the world today.  Many of the political and cultural controversies in today’s world have their roots in the medieval period. This colloquium focuses on the themes of: race, gender and class (the relationship between individuals and their societies, the roles of men and women in medieval and modern society, the encounters among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim civilizations and “others” in the medieval and modern world, and the formation of past and modern nation states.) The colloquium provides students with insights into one of the most artistically and historically rich and fascinating periods of human history while focusing upon the ways in which careful study of the medieval era results in much greater understanding of the modern world. 

                Student Learning Outcomes 

                 Students will demonstrate:

                1. Identify and discuss different lives and experiences of medieval people and cultures
                  • Assessment: Final Project
                  1. Locate and explain the significance of key geographic medieval places
                    • Assessment: Map quiz
                    1. Analyze medieval primary sources and indicate their historical significance and connect them to contemporary issues
                      • Assessment: Reflection essays         
                      1. Demonstrate an interdisciplinary understanding of the values, ideas and/or issues of medieval people and relate them to contemporary issues
                        • Assessment: Reflection essays and Final Project
                        1. Demonstrate the ability to engage in research in their production of written papers demonstrating scholarly skills, advanced level writing and correct use of citation format.
                          • Assessment: Reflection essays and Final Project

                         

                        Course that fulfills the requirement: Science and Society Colloquium (6 units) as approved by the Honors Director.

                        • Course that fulfills the requirement: Experimental Moral Philosophy & The Ethical Brain (HONO CLQ 3010/3011) 

                        (CLQ 3010): Experimental Moral Philosophy

                        Advances in neuroscience and particularly what the study of the brain thinks it has confirmed (or dispelled) about the centuries of philosophical conjecture about the nature of moral beliefs and the possibility of a universal ethic will be the central focus of this course. We will specifically look at the five major theories of ethics: deontology, natural law/character ethics, human rights, utilitarianism and care ethics in the context of neuroscience. Themes to be covered are: development of moral theories; toward a universal ethic; social theories of our common life; free will, personal responsibility and the law; and concepts of social justice.

                        CLQ 3011: The Ethical Brain 

                         In this course we will examine ethical, social, and philosophical issues raised by developments in the neurosciences. Specifically, we will address the implications of neuroscience in areas of behavioral research such as moral reasoning and decision-making, as well as the implications of new neuroscience technologies such as brain scanning, brain stimulation, and pharmaceuticals to manipulate cognition. This course will also address how these discoveries can help us be responsible citizens in an interdependent world, geographically and biologically. Topics will include: neurodevelopment and the emergence of persons; the impact of child abuse and poverty on brain development; life extension research; genetic, pharmacological, and non-pharmacological technologies for enhancement of human traits; “mind-reading” technologies; error and bias in memory; mind control; Conferring moral status on an embryo; emergence of consciousness, personhood and moral status.

                        Student Learning Outcomes (for both courses) 

                         Students will demonstrate:

                        1. Synthesize and build on an interdisciplinary understanding of the colloquium theme (theories and concepts) in order to develop and support an informed thesis that draws on and integrates multiple perspectives and displays critical/creative thinking skills.
                        • Honors SLO:  Integration and interdisciplinary understanding of the global community and social justice from at least two perspectives/disciplines
                      2. Formulate a research question, locate and evaluate appropriate sources, and extract, synthesize, and apply information about cultural recovery. This may include annotated bibliography, literature review, report/analysis of data collected from non-text resources/methodologies research papers, research presentation - all using appropriate citations to document sources with an integrative emphasis.
                        • Honors SLO:  Skills to compare and analyze several global paradigms of community and social justice
                      3. Demonstrate an ability to reflect on the personal and social meaning of the integration of a moral world-view increasingly “confirmed” or challenged by scientific evidence.
                      4.  

                        Multicultural/International Experience (3 units)

                        Students enrolled in these experiences will learn about social science theories that explain human thought, action, and interaction. All Honors students must develop a proposal for fulfilling this requirement approved by the Honors Board. 

                        Examples include:

                        • Dominican University of California approved study abroad program
                        • Honors sponsored City or Country as Text Educational Trip
                        • Dominican University of California sponsored trip abroad
                        • An internship in a multicultural or international setting.

                        Generic Student Learning Outcomes:

                        Students will demonstrate:

                      5. Knowledge of theories used to understand human behavior by drawing upon various social science disciplines    
                      6. Direct knowledge of another cultural tradition or country
                      7. Reflection upon the experience in writing (to be included in the Honors Portfolio) which integrates the multicultural experience with knowledge of the
                      8. Political or psychological or economic or sociological aspects of the cultural tradition(s) or country visited
                        • Course that fulfills the requirement: Italy Spring 2014 (1-3 units)

                        Forth Year Seminars

                        Senior Honors Seminar (1 unit)  

                        Note: This is not a GE requirement but is presented here for completeness.

                        Student Learning Outcomes:

                        Students will demonstrate:

                        1. Development and delivery of an oral presentation of their discipline specific senior thesis project
                        2. An analytical essay reflecting on their Honors education and individual progress
                        3. Understanding of the process of scholarly publication in diverse formats (electronic, peer-reviewed)
                        4. Superior scholarship or creative work in their major field (for creative works, a written component must be included)

                         

                        Other Courses not yet updated:

                        • Moral Philosophy (HONO 3501) 

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