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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 15-Jun-24

Fall 2024 | INT-1050-VO04 - 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.


Mike Sauro
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 low cost ($50 or less) textbook or resource class. ***

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Fall 2024 textbook details will be available on 2024-05-20. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

INT-1050-VO04 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


  • Readings
  • Weekly Discussion Forums
  • Weekly Journal Entries
  • Culminating Unit Projects
  • Library Orientation Activities
  • Collaborative Research Activity
  • "Educated" Book Analysis Discussions
  • "Educating Rita" Film Analysis (in conjunction with The Allegory of the Cave assignment)

Evaluation Criteria

Students will be evaluated utilizing the following methods:

Discussion Forums (100 possible points each): Discussion Forums are a vital and required component of this course. This is the place where students learn and practice skills while building community with their classmates. It is expected that students engage with each week’s topics and skills-building activities as well as connect positively to their peers and the instructor. Students who regularly participate in discussions perform better on the major weight-bearing assignments associated with that unit. Please see Course Policies for more information about online Discussion Forums and how they impact the overall course grade. Discussion Forum grading criteria can be found in the course space in the "Student Information" module.

Weekly Journal Assignments (100 possible points each): Journals are scaffolding assignments that enable students to practice the skills needed to pass each of the major assignments. Students who complete these weekly journal assignments not only receive a higher grade in the class, they also perform better on the major weight-bearing assignments associated with that unit. Journal assignment grading criteria can be found in the "Student Information"module.

Working, Learning & Living Project (200 possible points): This project invites students to explore their interests, discover some of their qualities and skills (i.e. the superpowers you offer the world!), and engage in some fun and focused thinking about their future.

Beyond the Single Story Project (500 possible points): In her Danger of a Single Story lecture, Chimamanda Adiche argues that single stories “flatten” our experiences. Moreover, they foster “incomplete” truths and “rob people of their dignity” because they present a singular view or perspective of a person, group of people, place, or even a complex topic. This project invites students to think reflectively about “single social/political stories,” deconstruct them, and then build more “complete” narratives/truths. Students will share their findings with their peers in an interactive project.

Seeing Things Whole Final Project (500 possible points): This assignment invites students to review, explore, connect, and depict key themes and concepts studied in this class. Students will imagine that a publisher has just hired them to design a new cover for a Dimensions textbook. (Whoot Whoot!) They want an engaging cover design that depicts or represents key course concepts, especially as they connect to each other and reveal your experience as a student in the course. You will attend their next meeting with a copy of your proposed book cover, as well as a presentation that describes in great detail the rationale behind your design. (Another way to understand this assignment is to imagine that you need to visually explain what this course means to you.)

Allegory of the Cave and "Educating Rita" Project (500 possible points): Students will engage with and analyze Plato's Allegory of the Cave and compare and contrast it to the film, "Educating Rita." Students will reflect upon both sources and describe their own "cave" and how it can be eliminated.

Extended Reading Project: Educated by Tara Westover (500 possible points): Over the second half of the semester, students will read and analyze Tara Westover's Educated through participation in Discussion Forums. A final analysis paper will be required.

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


Student Introductions

Course Requirements


"How to Be An Engaging Contributor to Class Discussions"

"Prompting Questions - A Cool Tool for Fostering Deep Discussions"

  • Discussion Forum: Student Introductions
  • Quiz: Path to Success
  • Journal Entry: Letter to Instructor


What Shapes Your Academic Identity?


Alexie, Indian Education

  • Discussion Forum: Schooled Biographies
  • Journal Entry #1: Claiming Your Education
  • Journal Entry #2: Primal World View


Plato's The Allegory of the Cave and "Educating Rita" (Film)


The Allegory of the Cave Animated Videos

Educating Rita Film

  • Discussion Forum: Comparing The Allegory of the Cave and "Educating Rita"
  • Journal Entry: Essay of Experience


A Visual Explorer Exercise

Working, Living, and Learning Project


Inspiring TED Talks about Working, Living, and Learning

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address

  • Discussion Forum #1: Working, Living, and Learning Visual Explorer Activity
  • Discussion Forum #2: "Stay Hungry! Stay Foolish!"
  • Journal Entry: Reflections on Working, Living, and Learning


Working, Living, and Learning Projects


Johari Window Exercise

Focus2 Career Exploration

  • Discussion Forum: Educated Introductory Discussion
  • Project Submission: Working, Living, and Learning


What Is the Nature of a Single Story?


Chimamanda Adichie TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story

Additional Required Resources

  • Discussion Forum: The Danger of a Single Story
  • Journal Entry #1: Bias
  • Journal Entry #2: Wellness Check-In
  • Journal Entry #3: Initial Brainstorms About the Single Story Project


How Can We Deconstruct, Challenge, and Rewrite Single Stories?


Ava Duverney's Film 13th

VSCS Library Orientation

Evaluating Information and Evaluating Sources

  • Discussion Forum: Ava Duverney's 13th
  • Educated Discussion Forum: Prologue and Part One (Chapters 1-16)
  • Journal Entry #1: Set Up Your Checkology Account
  • Journal Entry #2: Single Story Project Update
  • Journal Entry #3: Evaluating Information and Evaluating Sources


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


Checkology Lessons

Media Images for Discussion Forum

  • Discussion Forum: Digital Forensics Challenge
  • Journal Entry #1: Checkology Lessons
  • Journal Entry #2: Social Media Misinformation Quizzes
  • Journal Entry #3: Single Story Project Update
  • Journal Entry #4: Find and Respond to Your Midterm Evaluation


Navigating Today's Information Landscape: Algorithms and Conspiratorial Thinking


Checkology Lessons

  • Discussion Forum: Are Algorithms a Threat to Demoicracy?
  • Educated Discussion Forum: Part Two (Chapters 17-29)
  • Journal Entry #1: Checkology Lessons
  • Journal Entry #2: Reflect on Your Media Bubble
  • Journal Entry #3: Analyze a Conspiracy Theory
  • Journal Entry #4: Single Story Project Update


Single Story Project - Rough Draft


VSCS Library's Understanding Plagiarism Tutorial

Video: Plagiarism

Tutorial: Why Citations Matter

Tutorial: APA Citations 7th Edition

Tutorial: MLA Citations 8th Edition

  • Discussion Forum #1: Crowdsourcing Techniques for Successful Source Citation
  • Discussion Forum #2: Practice Citing Sources
  • Journal Entry: Single Story Rough Draft


Beyond the Single Story Projects


Beyond the Single Story Project: Overview and Grading Criteria

  • Discussion Forum: Beyond the Single Story
  • Educated Discussion Forum: Part Three (Chapters 30-40)
  • Project Submission: Beyond the Single Story
  • Journal Entry: Wellness Check-In and Racial Autobiography


Dimensions of Race, Self, and Society (Part 1)


History Matters: African-American Library Resources

VSCS Library: Racial Equality Resources

  • Discussion Forum: Research Activity
  • Journal Entry: End-of-Week Discoveries


Dimensions of Race, Self, and Society (Part 2)

Dimensions of Self and Current Events Analysis: Student-Selected Topics


Student-Cited Research Articles

  • Discussion Forum #1: Wandering Flip-Chart Activity
  • Discussion Forum #2: Student-Selected Current Events Topics
  • Project: Educated Final Analysis
  • Journal Entry #1: Reflections and Actions
  • Journal Entry #2: Final Project Proposal


Seeing Things Whole Final Project (Part 1)


Seeing Things Whole Project Overview and Grading Criteria

  • Discussion Forum: Thought-Partner Activity
  • Project Submission: Seeing Things Whole


Seeing Things Whole Final Project (Part 2)


Submitted Student Projects

  • Discussion Forum #1: Seeing Things Whole Project Celebration
  • Discussion Forum #2: Course Synthesis and Looking Ahead
  • Journal Entry: A Note About Grades
  • Student Course Evaluation (link will be sent through CCV email)

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

To earn full participation points for the week, students should:

  • Read the assigned material and demonstrate an understanding of those resources in your assignments and posts. Readings and resources should be cited using APA or MLA format.
  • Post an original response to the weekly prompt(s) before Thursday at midnight (11:59 PM) and the required minimum number of responses to peers before Sunday at midnight (11:59 PM). You are welcome to post early and/or more frequently, as your schedule allows, but you will not receive full credit if you do not meet these minimum requirements and/or deadlines.
  • Posts should be substantive and demonstrate college-level writing. A substantive post is well-developed, a minimum 150 words, and references the reading or another appropriate source. A substantive post is NOT one or two sentences of general statements or unsupported opinion.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Assignments are expected to be completed by the due date. NOTE: In case of illness, a copy of a doctor’s note will be required for full credit.

It is required that individual out-of-class assignments be submitted through the course space on Canvas. Assignments that are attached to e-mails will not be accepted.

Attachments must be in a Microsoft Word or Open Office format, with one of the following extensions: .doc,.docx (Microsoft),.odt (Open Office), .txt (WordPad), .PDF (Adobe Acrobat), or .rtf (rich text). Extensions that I am unable to open and will not accept: .pages.zip (Mac), .png, or .jpg.

Students who use Apple computers: Assignments must be saved and attached as a PDF.

Students who use Google Docs: Assignments must be saved and attached as a PDF or Word document. Please DO NOT send me a link to your Google Docs folder.

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.