This class is a hybrid format. In Class Meetings are Wednesdays, noon to 1:15 in F239.
Online learning and activities must be completed before our face-to-face class each week. Students are responsible for mastering the online content. Class time will be used to discuss and develop ideas from that material.
Required Texts and Supplementary Materials: You will need to purchase one book (in the $10 range on Amazon) that will inform your specialty in the final debate, and be the subject of your book report and group synthesis report. All other material is provided online.
Online Purchase: MBS Books. Also feel free to check: Amazon.com or Half.com or abe books
Course Prerequisites: Completion of 24 credits and completion of college writing level 2 course (“C” or better)
Technology Requirements: Basic computer skills, such as composing an email, using a Word or text program, attaching a document, and using Blackboard Vista Course Management Program are necessary. A broadband Internet connection may be required for effective viewing of some of the video elements in the course. Help with these tasks is available at the Technology Learning Center. Check their web page: http://www.bucks.edu/online/tlc.php
Technology help with BlackBoard Vista is available at Online Learning: Phone is 215-968-8051. Other ways to get help are listed in the Start Here module document, Getting Help with BlackBoard Vista.
The theory of evolution will be examined to explore how the theory works and how it contrasts with other ways of understanding the world. Topics include the nature of biological evolution and the implications of viewing biological organisms as the product of natural selection for ethics, religion, and culture. Course material examines evolutionary theory, methods of explanation, historical overview, and human social, cultural and intellectual development. Evolution and creationism controversy in the 20th and 21st century is reviewed and analyzed. Class members prepare for a final debate in which they are able to informatively explain both sides of the subject.
What is a hybrid format?
Hybrid means that our learning will take place online and in a face-to-face class once a week. The online portion of our class will be lessons and activities that will prepare you for our face-to-face class. Our meetings will be opportunities to learn more, discuss and delve deeper into the material you have learned online. This kind of a format requires discipline to master the learning material posted online and in the books assigned. It is your responsibility to accomplish the online tasks so you will be able to participate in our class meeting and activities. The hours of instruction and the workload are the same as if you attended two classes a week. This hybrid format allows us to take advantage of online resources, and offers the convenience of a more flexible schedule for you.
All of the class materials are delivered online. You must complete the online portion of each class to prepare for the face-to-face class. To avoid any problems you must complete the Planet tutorials before class begins.
Finding the Bb Vista Tutorials: On the Bb Vista Home page after you login, along with your list of courses, you will see links to Learning Bb Vista - A. Student Orientation and Learning Bb Vista - B. Planet Student Materials. The demonstrations and tutorials will help you become familiar with the program. If you are new to the web or Bb Vista, you will benefit by spending some time exploring these sites.
What is an Integration of Knowledge Course?
In 1991, the faculty of the College completed an extensive review and revision of the requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree. One outcome of this revision was the requirement that all students seeking the degree should take at least one course which DID NOT examine a topic from the perspective of only one discipline. Instead, this course would examine a topic or theme using the lenses of at least three different discipline areas (science/technology, the arts/humanities, and the social sciences). It was the intention of the faculty that these Integration-of-Knowledge courses be taken when the student was close to graduation (some time in the second year). In addition, because all Integration-of-Knowledge courses are designed to use writing as a primary tool for instruction, students should have completed two college-level writing courses. Collaboration on a group project and papers that allow students to express critical thinking and a synthesis of topics are required.
The official INTG syllabus can be found on the college web site at: http://www.bucks.edu/syllabi/syllabus.php The following is pertinent information:
- As with all Integration of Knowledge courses, this course will have the following characteristics:
- It is theme-based (A theme provides an organizing framework for the course).
- It includes, but is not limited to, cultural, societal, and scientific perspectives.
- It is writing intensive.
- It requires students to work together and study in groups.
- Students examine the implications of the theme by analyzing the past, assessing the present, and planning for the future.
- Catalog Course Description:
Students in this writing-intensive, team-taught course examine themes from perspectives of multiple disciplines (scientific, cultural and social). They analyze the past, assess the present, and plan for the future with regard to the theme(s). Through individual and collaborative activities, students analyze perspectives and synthesize positions informed by the different disciplines.
- Required Course Content and Direction:
- Learning Goals:
- Course Learning Goals Students will be able to
- demonstrate their understanding of the importance of the theme(s) in the context of the specific topic(s) discussed;
- express how the skills learned in the course can be used in different contexts;
- gain critical insights into and question their assumptions about the theme(s); and
- provide evidence of critical thinking through discussion, expository writing, and collaborative activities.
Note: See each section's course format for theme-specific learning objectives. (Section formats to be on file in the INTG office).
Core Learning Goals Category II: Integration of Knowledge Students will be able to
Category III: Collaboration Students will be able to
- analyze the past, assess the present, and plan for the future with regard to the theme as informed by the disciplines through activities and/or other assignments.
- synthesize (make connections among) the disciplines (at least scientific, cultural and social) presented in the course in written essays, discussions, and/or other assignments.
Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:
Students will engage in a planned series of learning activities that will require them to:
- identify and practice elements of effective group process;
- practice effective small group communication skills;
- resolve conflicts/make decisions effectively; and
- honor commitments made to the group.
Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:
- analyze the past, assess the present, and plan for the future with respect to the course theme.
- synthesize the disciplinary perspectives on the course theme.
- practice skills of effective small-group practice:
- Decision making and conflict resolution; and
- engage in writing assignments.
- Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals
Required. Students will be assessed on each of the objectives through written, presentation (with artifact), and/or multimedia assignments.
- Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals (if applicable)
Category II: Integration of Knowledge
Required. Students will be assessed on each of the objectives through written, presentation (with artifact), and/or multimedia assignments.
Category III: Collaboration
Required. Students will be assessed on each of the objectives through collaborative assignments.
What You Will Learn and How You will Prove It:
If you do the work required for this course (reading, studying, thinking, writing, participating in class discussions, etc.) you will be able to:
- Identify the major components of the theory of evolution and of other theories concerning the origin and development of life.
- Contrast the differences between different types of explanations for the origin and development of life.
- Explain the development of human culture and expression of ideas
- Explain how the scientific method works, what its limits may be, and how to evaluate if something is scientifically credible
- Describe the social impact of the debate between natural selection and Intelligent Design.
- Use the logical and critical thinking methods to analyze and evaluate the arguments made when discussing the problem of life.
- Develop fine-tuned critical reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
How You will Learn:
This is a a hybrid (a mix of online and face-to-face) course. Participation is graded by the student's involvement in Discussion (in class and online) and timely completion of assignments and activities. Assignments will be submitted through this online platform.
Learning materials for students to meet the objectives of this course have been chosen by your professors to provide an understanding of evolution and creationism from a scientific, sociological, and cultural perspective. They include readings, video, web links, activities, discussion, projects, and essays. All of this material and instructions are provided in the online portion of the course. Each module provides a short Pre-Class Quiz to help you self-check that you understood main points in the material.
Group projects are homologies, a group synthesis paper, and the final debate. The are designed for you to learn the technique and value of group work and to share the gathering of resources for the final debate.
Individual papers are 3 pass/fail assignments, one in each specialty (Those papers allow one re-write), an individual book report and a final debate paper. These are designed as a vehicle for you to demonstrate your understanding of the material.
Discussion questions posed weekly in each specialty will help prepare for the final debate.
Course Grading Policy: Assessments and consequently grades are based on the demonstration of how well the learning objectives are mastered.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES and ASSIGNMENTS ........................... MAXIMUM CREDIT
Homologies ........................................ 50 points
3 Pass/Fail papers, one by each professor ......... 300 points
Individual Book Report paper ................... 100 points
Group Synthesis Book Report .................... 100 points
Debate Paper ................................... 100 points
In-class Final Debate .......................... 100 points
Class Participation (Class prep quizzes - 10 points each) ..... 100 points
Post-class Discussion (10 points each) ......... 100 points
Attendance (10 points per class) ............... 150 points
Total Points .............................. 1100 points
The following grading scale will be used:
A = 90 and above .......... 900 and above Points
B+ = 87 - 89 .............. 870 - 890 Points
B= 80 - 86 ................ 800 - 860 Points
C+ = 77 - 79 .............. 770 - 790 Points
C = 70 - 76 ............... 700 - 760 Points
D+ = 67 - 69 .............. 670 - 6900 Points
D = 60 - 66 ............... 600 - 660 Points
F= 59 and below ........... 590 and below Points
Attendance, Grades and Course Withdrawal:
A grade of S, U or W will be given at midterm, designating Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or Withdrawn. Students are responsible for withdrawing themselves if they drop the class. If a student fails to attend or cease to attend class at or before midpoint of the course, they will be withdrawn. Students can access their official grades through Web Advisor on the college web site.
Attendance and Participation There will be a signature sheet for each class which will be used to record your attendance. Regular attendance at all classes is required, yet it is one thing to attend class, and another to participate in class. Both are required for this part of the grade. A good rule of thumb: if the professors do not know you and your opinions, then you are not participating enough. In addition, all absences need to be reported to the instructor. No unexcused absences are allowed. Excessive unexcused absences may result in a lowering of course grade or failure.
Grading: All assignments and exams are due on the date they are assigned unless specific arrangements are made with the instructor. Pass/Fail papers which fail will have one chance to be rewritten.
Academic Integrity: “The expectation is that the principles of truth and honesty will be rigorously followed in all academic endeavors. This assumes that all work will be done by the person who purports to do the work without unauthorized aids. In addition, when making use of language and some idea not his or her own, whether quoting them directly or paraphrasing them into his or her own words, the student must attribute the source of the material in some standard form, such as naming the source in the text or offering a footnote” (2002-2003 Bucks County Community College Catalogue, p. 159).
Any plagiarism will earn an F for the assignment with no possibility to rewrite. We will also file a "Plagiarism/Cheating report" with the Dean of Academic Affairs. If the student in question has a prior recorded offense for cheating, that student will earn an F for the course. A second instance of plagiarism or cheating within this course will also earn an F for the course.
Academic Honesty: The expectation at Bucks County Community College is that the principles of truth and honesty will be rigorously followed in all academic endeavors. This assumes that all work will be done by the person who purports to do the work without unauthorized aids. In addition, when making use of language and some idea not his or her own, whether quoting them directly or paraphrasing them into his or her own words, the student must attribute the source of the material in some standard form, such as naming the source in the text or offering a footnote. (Source: BCCC Catalog, College Policy Regarding Cheating and Plagiarism)
For further information, visit http://www.bucks.edu/catalog/ppolicy.html
What successful students should expect to do in an online or hybrid class:
- Successful students understand that the retention and comprehension level of the material covered in this course depends on the degree of their commitment to learning.
- Successful students recognize that the syllabus, text, and online course materials are the primary source or instructions in a web-based course, so they need to read them carefully and refer to them regularly.
- Successful students will be challenged and encouraged to accept learning responsibility.
- Successful students recognize the importance of communicating with the instructor and their classmates.
- Successful students call or email their instructor to discuss questions or concerns;
- Successful students meet all due dates for assignments and enrollment status as stated in the syllabus.
- Successful students plan their time wisely. Due dates have been established for the completion of the course work.The student is responsible for submitting assignments and completing the required activities by these dates.
- Successful students are self-motivated and keep up with all assignments and activities. In a traditional course, students normally spend 3 hours per week in class (total 54 hours). The standard formula for college coursework is that every one hour of class time will result in two or three hours of homework.
- Successful students set aside about 8 hours a week to complete the requirements of a course.
- Successful students ask questions before due dates.
- Successful students pay close attention to how they can best and most easily learn the material in a particular subject area. Students may find it helpful to take a learning styles inventory to guide their study habits. Students can access one online at http://www.metamath.com/lsweb/dvclearn.htm.
Writing Review and Help:
Three of the papers assigned in this course allow one re-write. We expect students to address points in the assignment rubric and to write at a college level and supply sufficient citations. We provide specific comments in review of these papers. PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE of the college Tutoring Center to help with writing papers. Also contact the instructor who is the lead on any assignment if you are confused in any way.
Disability Accommodations: In compliance with the Bucks County Community College policy and equal access laws, appropriate academic accommodations can be made for students eligible for such support. Students are encouraged to register with the Disability Services Office at 215-968-8463 to verify their eligibility for appropriate accommodations. Please inform me about any requests for academic accommodations or other concerns as early in the semester as possible. More contact information is available in the Start Here Module under the Learner Support Services heading.
This online course management system, Blackboard Vista, is committed to ensuring that its online platform is usable and accessible.
For auditory learners who want to use a screenreader, you might want to check out the Read Aloud website. Read Aloud is FREE software that allows you to listen to a webpage as you are reading it.
Student Responsibility to Retain online Materials Policy: Students are always responsible for retaining copies of their own work and/or correspondence, including that posted to a web course space. Student access to a Bucks County Community College web course space is available only during the stated semester/session as indicated by the College’s academic calendar. All web course sites, including content, are routinely removed form the server at the conclusion of each semester/session.
Assignment/Topics Covered: Since our class is guided by discussion, this is a tentative schedule:
First Class: Explanations of scientific method, evolution and creation, introduction to course reading
Second Class: Groups and Specialties, Critical Book Review Explanation, Groups exercise
Assignment - Individual Book Reports
Third Class: Science and Religion, Galileo and Newton
Assignment: Shah paper on science and religion
Fourth Class: Limits of Science, Confirmation and Falsification
Fifth Class: Natural Selection an William Paley
Assignment: Individual book report
Sixth Class: Fossil Evidence, Homologies, geology, and flood geology
Assignment – Homologies
Assignment - Sullivan Paper on theory of evolution
Seventh Class: Human Evolution, genetics, Ardi and Lucy and "no missing link" theory
Assignment - Group Book report
Eighth Class: Social Darwinism, reciprocal altruism and pre-millenialism, fundamentalism
Ninth Class: Cultural Evolution, artfacts, consciousness, natural and supernatural explanations
Assignment: Bornak paper on cultural evolution
Tenth Class: Intelligence and Consciousness
Eleventh Class: Controversy in the Media, what should be taught in schools
Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Class: Final Debates
Assignment: Final Paper
Debate and Wrap Up