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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 16-Nov-23

Spring 2024 | HUM-2010-VO04 - Seminar in Educational Inquiry

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-23-2024 to 05-06-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-24-2024 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration
Materials/Lab Fees: $75.00


Fern Fryer
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Collin Lee

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
CCV Seminar in Education Inquiry
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

Inquiry is the foundation for this interdisciplinary capstone course. It provides a forum for critical thinking about substantive issues, problems, and themes that affect the world, our society, our communities, and our selves. Throughout the semester, students will be challenged to ask critical questions, evaluate evidence, create connections, and present ideas in discussions and writing. This process prepares students for developing and presenting a culminating portfolio through which they demonstrate proficiency in the graduation standards of writing and information literacy, as well as make connections to prior learning. Because the final portfolio is essential in demonstrating these proficiencies, students must complete the portfolio with a grade of C- or better in order to pass the course. This course is required for students planning to graduate and should be taken within the year prior to graduation once all competency area requirements have been satisfied. Prerequisite: English Composition and a Research & Writing Intensive course or equivalent skills.

Essential Objectives

1. Explain how questions are framed and knowledge is gained in various disciplines, such as the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.
2. Investigate the philosophical and ethical questions arising from issues pertaining to identity, community, knowledge, truth, change, and responsibility.
3. Demonstrate advanced skills of reading, writing, and critical thinking in both group and individual work.
4. Locate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate scholarly and professional sources, including primary and secondary evidence as needed, to address an academic research question.
5. Complete a culminating portfolio that includes:
a. A research paper with an arguable thesis that integrates five or more scholarly and professional sources to address an academic research question and demonstrates proficiency in the graduation standards of writing and information literacy according to the SEI research paper rubric.
b. A reflective essay that articulates how the student’s educational experience has influenced their understanding of themselves and the world.
c. A presentation related to the content of the paper.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


Our course will focus on both group interaction and individual writing projects. We will use a variety of readings, short videos, and forum discussions to improve critical thinking and communication skills.


Discussion Forums 25%

Short writing assignments 20%

Rough draft 5%

Portfolio: 50%

Portfolio includes:

  • Research Paper 100 pts
  • Reflection on educational experience 50 pts
  • Presentation of research 25 pts

Rhythm for the week:


  • The semester syllabus is posted in the Course Resources module to allow you to see the reading assignments for all the weeks and to plan accordingly based on your schedule. Thus, you may read ahead; however, the discussion forum for each set of readings will not become available until Tuesday at midnight.
  • Video clips may also be assigned. If you do not have a reliable high-speed internet connection, please plan accordingly so you may watch the video some place else where you do have access.


  • Weekly Discussion forum will open Tuesday at midnight. Post your initial response and pose a question by Saturday at 9 am. Respond to at least two other people by Monday at noon. A grading rubric is in the Course Resources module.
  • Occasionally there will be small group forums where you need to collaborate to accomplish a task. Plan to get into forums early in the week for these small group activities.

Research Paper:

  • Research Corner readings and instructions pertain to the research paper and will become available each Tuesday at midnight. It is essential that you read them. In addition, the due dates for the stages of the research paper are posted on the syllabus.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Education and Identity


On Self-Respect," "Changing High Schools,"and "Live and Learn" ; watch The Learning Revolution OR How to solve the learning crisis for men and boys


forum discussion

reflective essay on educational experience



Big Data and Society


Big Data- why should you care?

"Hall Monitor" , The Dangerous Appeal of Tech and The Dangers of AI


forum discussion



Online Technology & our Impulse Society


"Saving the Self in the Age of the Selfie,Connected, but alone?


forum discussion

research question due



Science and Technology


position statement and paragraph of support





The Pleasure of Imagination

Immersion Trip

The Playful Wonderland Behind Great Inventions


creative project on your multiple intelligences

claims and evidence



Belief and Reason: Misinformation


small group forum



Belief and Reason Part 2

research for your paper

misinformation essay



How the Past Shapes Us


Seven Ways to Productively Learn from the Past”

Three Myths That Explain Why Americans Don't Know Much About History


discussion forum

working thesis and bibliography due



Values & Ethics


Why our children don't think there are moral facts.pdf (5 pages)

Science Can Answer Moral Questions(23 min)

Machine Intelligence Makes Human Morals More Important

Why Clean War is Bad War


small group activity & reflection

comprehension check



Civic Literacy & American Values


1.ReadJefferson-The Declaration of Independence

Stanton- Declaration of Sentiments

Myths McClanahan.pdf

America: The Multinational Society

2. Listen to Gettysburg Address and Ain't I a Woman


essay on American culture



Conflict & Resolution


The biology of our best and worst selves

Read 3 of the following articles:

Neurosciences New Toolbox

Thoughts in the presence of fear

Is war inevitable?

Links to an external site.

No, war is not inevitable

War- what's it good for?


discussion forum



Rough draft of research paper


Honesty and Honor Codes

Everything is a Remix


drafts and peer reviews



Environmental Stewardship


4 Steps to Developing a Solution Orientation

The Future Will Be Shaped by Optimists

15 Biggest Environmental Problems of 2023

"Destruction of Nature is as Big a Threat to Humanity as Global Warming


discussion forum

footprint calculator



Final Paper Revisions and Wrap-up of Course


no readings


final paper due; reflections & connections



Research Presentations


no reading


presentation of your research paper


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Weekly Workload & Expectations

You will need to set aside approximately 6-9 hours each week to complete the work in this course. Each week, you will be expected to:

    • read a selection of articles
    • watch TED Talks/videos (not every week)
    • participate in Discussion Forums by:
      • answering discussion questions with well-considered ideas supported with evidence from the readings/videos
      • asking a thought-provoking question (not every week)
      • responding to classmates
    • write short essays and paragraphs
    • complete activities in the Research Corner; these will be steps in writing a research paper on a topic of your choice
    • proofread your work

You will need regular access to a laptop or desktop computer with an Internet connection to optimally access the materials since there is no required textbook.

Missing & Late Work Policy


1. All students must complete the final research paper and document all sources used- whether directly quoted or paraphrased. Any information that is not common knowledge must be cited in the body and on the reference or works cited page. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the final project and course. It is assumed all students have adequate familiarity with the VSCS Libraries system, standard college research methods, and the MLA/APA documentation process.

2. All students need to submit the steps for the final project as outlined on the handout.

3. This course is one that can attest to a student’s skill as an exiting sophomore- a student who has shown the academic skills required at this level. Your performance in this class will demonstrate your ability to comprehend and critically review and discuss various types of writing across the curriculum. It is assumed that all students have adequate college-level reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. That means being able to handle 60-100 pages of reading a week; to write original essays, summaries, and responses that are organized, grammatically correct, and thoughtful; to participate in open discussions and express ideas in a clear and considerate manner; to listen to others’ ideas and opinions with an open mind and respectful attitude.

Late Work Policy

Discussion Forum original posts must be completed by Saturday 9 am each week and comments, questions or responses must be completed by Monday at noon to get full credit. Initial posts made after Saturday 9 am will be accepted with the loss of 2 points for lateness. No credit is given for any posts made after Monday of any given week.

Other work will be accepted up to one week after the due date; after that it becomes a 0. If you know that you will be unable to complete modules in any given week, contact me as soon as possible (evelyn.fryer@ccv.edu) so that I can either give you early access to the modules or grant you an extension to avoid a penalty in grading.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.