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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 02-May-24

Fall 2024 | INT-1050-VO01 - Dimensions of Self & Society

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: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
This section is waitlisted (0). Please contact your nearest center for availability.


Amy Beth Kessinger
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
CCV 1st Semester Seminar
  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

In this interdisciplinary first-semester seminar, students make the transition to college-level academic culture. This seminar is designed to help students develop the learning skills and habits of success that will support them throughout their college experience and as they consider career pathways. Reading, writing, and discussion are central to developing an understanding of academic and societal responsibility. Students critically examine the relationship between societal values, individual beliefs, ways of knowing, and cultural worldviews.

Essential Objectives

1. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate a text and its sources.
2. Demonstrate foundational information literacy, research skills, and academic honesty necessary for academic writing.
3. Demonstrate effective written communication skills, including active engagement in asynchronous online discussion.
4. Apply effective strategies for building new knowledge and skills through reflection on learning preferences, challenges, and goals.
5. Identify possible career goals and educational pathways.
6. Examine social issues through the lens of the individual and society.
7. Examine personal assumptions and biases, and ethical impacts of decision making and participation in society.
8. Consider issues from multiple perspectives and discuss, debate, and defend ideas with clarity and reason as part of a respectful learning community.

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 is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

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

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Integrated: This course's generative AI policy acknowledges the use of AI is an essential skill in today's world. By using genAI for specific purposes, students become equipped with relevant skills and tools necessary to thrive in a technology-driven society. Emphasizing the mastery of generative AI should empower you to harness its potential, enhancing your problem-solving abilities and preparing you for future challenges and opportunities. Be aware, however, that any time generative AI is used at any point in the assignment without attribution it may be considered a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.

A Few Words about Generative AI (e.g. ChatGPT)

Writing is integral to thinking. It is also hard. Natural language processing (NLP) applications like ChatGPT or Sudowrite are useful tools for helping us improve our writing and stimulate our thinking. However, they should never serve as a substitute for either. And, in this course, they cannot.

Think of the help you get from NLP apps as a much less sophisticated version of the assistance you can receive (for free!) from a Tutor.com tutor. That person might legitimately ask you a question to jump-start your imagination, steer you away from the passive voice, or identify a poorly organized paragraph, but should never do the writing for you. A major difference here, of course, is that an NLP app is not a person. It’s a machine that is adept at recognizing patterns and reflecting those patterns back at us. It cannot think for itself. And it cannot think for you.

With that analogy in mind, you will need to adhere to the following guidelines in our class.

Appropriate use of AI when writing journals, essays, or discussion board entries:

  • You are free to use spell check, grammar check, and synonym identification tools (e.g., Grammarly, and MS Word).
  • You are free to use app recommendations when it comes to rephrasing sentences or reorganizing paragraphs you have drafted yourself.
  • You are free to use app recommendations when it comes to tweaking outlines you have drafted yourself.

Inappropriate use of AI when writing essays or discussion board entries:

  • You may not use entire sentences or paragraphs suggested by an app without providing quotation marks and a citation, just as you would to any other source. Citations should take this form: OpenAI, chatGPT. Response to prompt: “Explain what is meant by the term ‘Triple Bottom Line’” (February 15, 2023, https://chat.openai.com/).
  • You may not have an app write a draft (either rough or final) of an assignment for you.

Evidence of inappropriate AI use will be grounds for submission of an Academic Integrity report. Sanctions will range from a zero for the assignment to an F for the course.

I’m assuming we won’t have a problem in this regard but want to make sure that the expectations are clear so that we can spend the semester learning things together—and not worrying about the origins of your work.

(This AI statement is used with permission from Chris Beneke.)


This course will rely heavily on experiential learning, which is learning by doing. To this end, general teaching methods may include:

  • Course "reading" materials that are presented in a wide variety of formats: contemporary case studies and news articles, academic studies, informative and thought-provoking videos, audio shows, virutal museums, etc.
  • Weekly online activities that ask more than, "What did you think of the reading?" and instead invite you to engage in meaningful experiences meant to inspire self-reflection and skills-building. Possible activities include: participating in small group problem-solving initatives; analyzing and writing your own research briefs; interviewing friends and family; taking virtual field trips; practicing specific research skills, etc.
  • Fun and challenging projects that grant you the freedom and flexibility to pursue your own interests within clearly defined instructions and expectations that give you the chance to apply your academic learning to your real life.

We will gather virtually for this entire course and the success of this experience will rest on your shared commitment to being genuinely present and engaged in the weekly discussion board activities.

Evaluation Criteria

Please be advised that this is subject to change before the semester starts.

Class Participation: 30%

Weekly Journal Assignments: 30%

Working, Learning & Living Project: 10%

Beyond the Single Story Project: 15%

Seeing Things Whole Final Project: 15%

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


Introductions & The Power of a Question


Introduction to Dimensions

Explore the course site


Forum: Letters of Introduction & Practice Open-Ended Questions

Journal: Letter to Amy Beth

Journal: Path to Success Quiz



School, Stories & Self: What Shapes Your Academic “Identity?”


Sherman Alexie: Indian Education

Why do personal stories matter?

What stories about school shape our academic identity?


Forum: "Schooled" Activity

Journal: Future "Schooled" Mini-Biography



Working, Learning & Living


Selected videos and essays about working and living


Forum: Visual Explorer Activity

Journal: Reflections on Working, Learning & Living



Working, Learning & Living Projects


This week, you will work on your Working, Learning, Living Projects. This project invites you to explore your interests, discover some of your qualities and skills (i.e. the superpowers you offer the world!), and engage in some fun and focused thinking about your future!


Assignment: Working, Learning, Living Project



The Danger of the Single Story


Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of the Single Story (Ted talk)

What is a single story?

What is the relationship between implicit and explicit biases and single stories?

How can we encourage more "complete" stories?


Forum: Single Story Discussion

Journal: Project Implicit Activity & Response



How Can We Deconstruct, Challenge & Rewrite Single Stories?


Ava Duverney's amazing documentary film, 13th


Forum: Film Discussion

Journals: Library Workshop & Check in with Amy Beth about Single Story project



How to Know What to Believe: Understanding Bias, Misinformation, and Arguments & Evidence


Checkology Lessons


Forum: Digital Forensics Activity

Journals: Social Media Misinformation Quiz



Navigating Today's Information Landscape: Algorithms & Conspiratorial Thinking


Checkology lessons


Forum: Are Algorithms a Threat to Democracy? A Discussion

Journal: Analyze a Conspiracy Theory & Reflect on your Media Bubble

Journal: Single Story Rough Draft



Single Story Rough Drafts


CCV's Plagiarism Tutorial

APA & MLA Guides

individual resources to support projects


Forum: Crowdsourcing Techniques for Successful Source Citation

Forum: Practice Citing Sources

Journal: Single Story Rough Draft



Beyond the Single Story Projects & Symposium


Student projects


Forum: Beyond the Single Story Symposium

Journal: Wellness Check-in w/Amy Beth



Dimensions of Race, Self & Society (part 1)


Internet Resources


Forum: Collaborative Research Activity

Journal: End of Week Discoveries



Dimensions of Race, Self & Society (part 2)


Student Top-Five Lists


Forum: Wandering Flip Chart Activity

Journal: Circle, Square, Triangle Reflection



Self & Society: Consideration of a Current Issue


Specific resources to be determined by students and instructor


Forum: Student-Directed Forum

Journal: Check in about Final Project



Seeing (Things) Whole Final Projects


This is a Reading Week and there is no multi-day discussion activity to engage in and no formal journal assignment to submit. Instead, you will connect one-on-one with Amy Beth about your final project.


Assignment: Seeing (Things) Whole Final Project



Final Project Celebrations & Course Synthesis


Celebrate your peers' projects!


Forum: Seeing (Things) Whole Celebration

Forum: Course Synthesis & Feedback

Journal: Note to Amy Beth about Grades


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


Discussion forums = class participation.

Discussion forums are a vital and required component of this course because this is where you will apply concepts, practice skills, and build community with your peers.

Forums take place in an “asynchronous” manner; in other words, we all make contributions within a certain time frame but not necessarily at the exact same time.

Full participation requires active and thoughtful engagement in class each week. The following habits are important:

  • Complete all of the week's reading and assignments before the start of the forum.
  • Compose a timely, substantive, and thoughtful initial response to the discussion/activity prompt.
  • Contribute a minimum number of high-quality reply postings that significantly contribute to a positive learning environment.
  • Address and interact with your peers by name (e.g. Dear Sally) and sign off with your own name (the one you want us to use, of course).

Students who regularly participate in discussions perform better on the major weight-bearing assignments associated with that unit.

Missing & Late Work Policy


  • Discussion Forums: Students may not go back and participate in forums that have already closed, as this is akin to participating when everyone has left the room. If a student makes an initial post but contributes no replies, they may receive a grade of 1 out of 5 for the week.
  • Weekly Journals & Major Assignments: Extensions will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. If a lengthy medical problem or other emergent personal issue will result in missing weekly discussions and/or assignments, please let me know in writing as soon as possible.
  • I drop the lowest journal grade and I offer extra credit. This feels fair to everyone in the course since it grants all students the opportunity to have an "off" week - whether you're sick, on vacation, or just need to charge your school battery.
  • Anticipated Absences: Students who know that they will not have course access for any given week should make arrangements with me to complete assignments and some of the participation requirements prior to the absence.

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.