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COLL 100 is intended to focus on methods of communication beyond the traditional written essay. Throughout the term, we will be exploring various methods of communication (visual arts, oral story-telling, music with and without lyrics, video, webpages and blogs, power point). You will complete four short analysis assignments highlighting various communication platforms.
Weekly Reading Responses
Due once a week (M or W, according to the demands of your schedule), please submit a paragraph (75-150 words – typed, double-spaced, 12 point, time-new-roman) on the readings assigned for the day. You may make a thoughtful comment on episodes, formulate an informed question, or comment on some particularly interesting passage, theme, or trope. You may even comment on an interesting, relevant work of art or music or digital platform that relates to the day’s assigned reading/themes/topics. The assignment is open-ended and is intended to encourage deeper preparation for class discussion. You must submit one paragraph per week (10 total – the semester is 13 full weeks long), and I do expect greater sophistication as the term progresses. These responses must be submitted in person the day of class (no email submissions will be accepted; no summaries will be accepted for a day that you are absent)
Each student will give a brief summary (about 10 minutes) of an assigned author and offer a question to the class for discussion (this is a low stress "oral presentation"). Your presentation can be supported by a VERY SHORT ppt for class distribution (but ppt is not required).
Grades will be assessed on the following rubric:
pre-presentation consultation (5 points)
use of sources (10 points)
accuracy and content (10 points)
attention getter (5 points)
presentation/leadership/communication (10 points)
use of "effective redundancy" (5 points)
engagement with critical question (5 points)
engagement with water in the ancient world (5 points)
engagement with topic/assigned readings for the day of presentation (10 points)
discussion question/activity (5 points)
direction of class activity (5 points)
Creative Project: As the extent and complexity of your proposal warrants, you may work individually or in small groups to produce a non-traditional project of your choice (webpage, mock wiki entry, mapping, video, blog, song, painting, etc.). Your project will underscore class themes or explore more deeply an author, theory, water stress, or solution to a water stress. Please note the following deadlines:
September 18: Proposals due
October 23: Status Report
November 16: Draft Reports
December 4 and 6: project in-class presentations (explain your inspiration, methodology, process, and the learning experience effected by the project)
Grades will be assessed on the following rubric:
Proposal (5 points)
Status Report (5 points)
Draft Report (5 points)
in-class presentation (25 points)
what the project communicates about the topic (25 points)
what your presentation communicates about your learning experience (25 points)
brief self-interpretive essay (if working in a group, each participant must submit a separate essay) (25 points)
final "product" (35 points)
Public Talk Analysis (due December 6)
Attend three talks on campus
Compare the effectiveness of the three speakers: how clear and organized is each one? What "noise" does each speaker bring to bear? Who is the intended audience? How effectively is the message conveyed? What did you learn about verbal communication by listening to three very different talks, speakers, speaker styles?
Webpage analysis (due October 26)
Select TWO of the following (due November 16)
Look at all of the paintings, and choose 1 of the following.
Why did you choose your particular painting? In analyzing your painting, consider color and composition. What story does the artist tell? How do the colors and composition enhance/detract from the story? What details enhance the artist’s message? Is there any “noise” that detracts from the story? How might you improve the painting to enhance its efficacy? Is this medium effective for the story? How does your painting speak to our class content and/or critical questions?
Listen to all the musical pieces, and choose 1 of the following.
Why did you choose your particular musical piece? In analyzing your musical piece, consider instrumentation, tempo, melody, harmonics, key. Where songs are accompanied by lyrics, consider the voice like an instrument, and though you will want to consider the lyrics in your analysis, focus instead on the music. What story does the artist tell? How do the musical lines enhance/detract from the story? What details enhance the artist’s message? Is there any “noise” that detracts from the story? How might you improve the music/instrumentation to enhance its efficacy? Is this medium effective for the story? How does your musical piece speak to our class content and/or critical questions?
Look at each of the following maps and choose 1.
Why did you choose your particular map? Think about the shape and orientation of landmasses and waterways, and the aspect ratio of your maps. Where is the center? What details are featured prominently? What features are understated? What does this map tell you about the worldview of the people who created it? How does the map reveal contemporary science? And what does this maps tell you about how these cartographers perceive(d), interpret(ted), and interact(ed) with the natural world, and how the cartographer’s conception of the world reflects the times in which he lives?
Movie review: select one of the following (preferably a film that you’ve not already seen):
Why did you choose your particular movie? Analyze your movie according to the effectiveness of its plot, script, cinematography, sound-track, casting, costuming, props, direction. What aspects of the movie advanced the story? What “noise” detracted from the story? What might you do to ‘improve’ the movie? In what ways does your movie speak to our class content/critical questions?
If you choose an early movie, don’t be hyper-critical of the special effects. Instead be amazed at what the early film-makers were able to accomplish without modern cgi etc. In addition, don’t worry about fidelity to an original work of literature or to historicity. Instead focus on whether the film tells a good story.