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ATLANTA METROPOLITAN COLLEGE

COURSE SYLLABUS

Fall 2007

Course Title: AMIR 1001 Thinking, Learning, and Communicating in Contemporary Society

Course Credits: 4 Semester Hours

Catalog Description: This course cultivates habits that strengthen critical thinking, reading, and speaking, and that foster an increased understanding of the individual’s role and responsibility in the learning process. Using interdisciplinary themes and various instructional technologies, students examine and convey the logic of their thinking in writing and oral form.

Prerequisite: Exit from Learning Support

Required Textbook: Mayfield M. (2007). Thinking For Yourself (7th edition). Orlando, FL: Harcourt College Publishers. ISBN #1-4130-1772-X

Johnson, B. & Gamer, S. (1999). Advanced Word Power. Marlton, NJ: Townsend Press. ISBN #0-944210-46-5

Dictionary of your choice.  Suggested is a thesaurus.

Course Faculty:                   Office Phone               Office Hours

Ms. Michelle Geisert, M.A. S156 (404)756-4711 M/W 11:45-12:30 pm, 3:30-4:30 pm and by arrangement

michellegeisert@aol.com                                      

mgeisert@atlm.edu                                                  

Expected Learning Outcomes:

It is the belief of the AMC faculty that students who successfully complete the AMIR course will be able to:

-Demonstrate critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity,     independence of thought, and creativity

-Communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, and listening

-Demonstrate a knowledge of, and ability to use, information technology

Student attainment of the above three Expected Learning Outcomes will be assessed via a number of activities that are delineated in the six areas of development listed below:

I.  CRITICAL THINKING

  a.  Students will master basic concepts/terminology of critical thinking and use thinking to evaluate the logic of their own thinking and that of others.

b.  Students will develop analytic skills by examining ideas and purposes of texts

c.  Students will analyze arguments by identifying unstated assumptions, main conclusions, and reasons in support of the conclusion, whether stated or implied

d.  Students will detect bias and contradictions in a speaker/writers point of view and assess any impact on the balidity of the argument

e.  Students will evaluate the strength of evidence in an argument; whether conclusions are based on a sufficiently large representatvie sample; and whether reasons are relevant and adequately supported

f.  Students will recognize instances of deductive and inductive logic and related fallacies

g.  Students will make judgments based on criteria that are reliable, rigorous, and relevant

h.  Students will formulate categories, distinctions, or frameworks to organize information

II.  READING COMPREHENSION

a.  Students will comprehend and demonstrate critical thinking with regards to moderately complex texts

b.  Students will recognize point of view and tone

c.  Students will demonstrate, through outlining or summarizing, an understanding of the main idea and hierarchical structure of the key supporting ideas

d.  Students will recognize metaphor and other figurative uses of language and comprehend their relationship to the text's meaning

e.  Students will differentiate between different purposes of texts to explain to persuade, and will identify the purpose of a particular text

f.  Students will evaluate the text in terms of how well it achieves its purpose

g.  Students will distinguish fact from opinion

III. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

a.  Students will write essays consistent with the assignment

b.  Students will increase their ability to write for the puposes of explaining and persuading

c.  Students will improve in proofreading, especially for those errors found to be recurring

d.  Students will improve their abililty to keep in mind the reader's needs

e.  Students will increase their ability to develop generalizations with specific details

f.  Students will improve in their ability to write a clear thesis, to which all the ideas in the essay relate

g.  Students will improve in eliminating redundance and irrelevant material

h.  Students will improve in their ability to write on challenging topics of moderate complexity

IV. SPOKEN COMMUNICATION

a.  Students will make purpose of discourse clear

b.  Students will state ideas clearly

c.  Students will use pronunciation, grammar, and articulation appropirate to the designated audience

d.  Students will structure a discourse so that listeners can clearly identify key points and sub points

e.  Students will compose and deliver informational and persuasive discourse

f.  Students will allow others to express different views

g.  Students will work collaboratively in groups to accomplish a goal

V. VOCABULARY

a.  Students will understand and use various dimensions of word meaning and employ various strategies to extend vocabulary

b.  Students will recognize the use of connotation in creating the tone of a text

c.  Students will recognize and use prefixes, roots, and suffixes to comprehend and learn vocabulary

d.  Students will use context clues to unlock the meanings of unknown words or of secondary meaning of known words

e.  Studetns will recognize which words are fundamental to an understanding of text and which words are not

f.  Students will recognize contradictions or inconsistencies in language, images, or symbols

VI. BASIC COMPUTER KNOWLEDGE

a.  Students will master the skill to format an academic assignment, including line spacing, the setting of margins, using various fonts, and citing references

COURSE CONTENT

The following activities will take place in the course:

a.  Discussion of assigned chapters on areas of critical thinking and assigned thematic readings which relate to critical thinking areas

b.  Practice in understanding of critical thinking concepts and terminology

c.  Oral presentations

d.  Practice in using the computer and traditional library resources to do research

e.  Exercise to aquire new vocabulary and to develop strategies for vocabulary learning

f.  Written presentations that focus on argumentative or informational writing

g.  Using summarizing or outlining as a way to check basic comprehension of moderately complex texts before doing critical reading of the texts and as a way to increase students' understanding of text structure 

Assessment and Grades

1)  20% Two Major Application Projects which contain the following:

*An Electronic Research Component

*A Graded Written Component

*A Graded Oral Presentation

2)  20% A minimum of 10 one-page papers/assignments/presentations that demonstrate a knowledge of : the subject matter in the text, the assigned readings, the in-class activities, and the out-of-class assignments.

3)  20% A minimum of ten vocabulary quizzes

4)  20% A pre-midterm exam on the content of chapters 1-4 of Thinking for Yourself

5)  20% A final exam covering chapters 1-12 of Thinking for Yourself, as well as the Departmental Post Test-which will be given by all instructors

CLASS SCHEDULE

Week   Topic

1           Introduction to the course

             Introduction: Introduction to Critical Thinking

2          Chapter 1: Observational Skills: What’s Out There?

             Vocabulary Quiz 1: Chapters 29-30 (we work from the back of the book)

3          Chapter 2: Word Precision: How Do I Describe It?

            Vocabulary Quiz 2: Chapters 27-28

4         Chapter 3: Facts: What’s Real?

           Library research (tentative)

           Vocabulary Quiz 3: Chapters 25-26

5        Chapter 4: Inferences: What Follows?

          Vocabulary Quiz 4: Chapters 23-24

6       Chapter 5: Assumptions: What’s Taken For Granted?

         Vocabulary Quiz 5: Chapters 21-22

7       Chapter 6: Opinions: What’s Believed?

         Vocabulary Quiz 6: Chapters 19-20

March 1            Last day to drop with a "W"

8      Chapter 7: Evaluations: What’s Judged

        Vocabulary Quiz 7: Chapters 17-18

9     Chapter 8: Viewpoints: What’s the Filter?

       Vocabulary Quiz 8: Chapters 15-16

       Start Individual Oral Reports

10  Chapter 9: Argument: What’s a Good Argument?

       Vocabulary Quiz 9: Chapters 13-14

11  Chapter 10: Fallacies: What’s a Faulty Argument

       Vocabulary Quiz 10: Chapters 11-12

12   Chapter 11: Inductive Reasoning and Inductive Fallacies: How Do I Reason from Evidence?

       Vocabulary Quiz 11: Chapters 9-10

13 Chapter 12: Deductive Reasoning: How Do I Reason from Premises?

14  Group papers due/Group Oral Reports

Last Class

Final Exam

GENERAL COURSE CONCERNS

The Academic Support Center (ASC):  The ASC is located on the third floor of the Library Building and tutors are available to assist you with the editing and development of written assignments.  The hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday 8:00AM-8:00PM and Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM.  Also now open on Saturday's. Check with the ASC for changes or additional hours. 

Student requirements:

1. Complete all reading assignments prior to class time.

2. Take all examinations. 

3.  A minimum of 11 vocabulary quizzes will be administered and the professor will drop the lowest quiz for a total of 10 counted toward your grade.

4. Participate in group assignments.

5.  Bring textbooks and dictionary to class. 

POLICIES

Writing Assignments

Additional assignments are due when assigned. Late assignments are rarely accepted. In class assignments cannot be made up. If you must miss a class, email your assignment to me no later than the beginning of the class period on the due date.

Cheating and Plagiarism

"Cheating is passing off someone else’s work as your own and includes copying exam answers, using notes or books during examinations, and handing in someone else’s work. Plagiarism is the copying of materials directly from a source without quotation marks and the appropriate citations. It is claiming another person’s work, ideas as your own. If there is a suspicion of plagiarism, the students will be asked to submit notes and copies of research materials (books and articles)." (Smith, P.M. 1999). Cheating and plagiarism is grounds for failure in this class!

Attendance

Attendance is strongly encouraged as group activities occur in class, effects your grade, and may not be made up.  Moreover, the instructor will cover topics and methodologies that do not appear in the textbook.  Arriving late and leaving early while class is in session is disruptive for the instructor and the other students.  Students who leave a class while it is in session will be marked absent if the situation is not explained and is not considered excusable by the instructor.  The instructor will excuse two absences.  Any other excused absences must be approved by instructor.  Examples of additional excused absences are jury duty and an ongoing issue such as chronic illness that may affect your attendance the entire semester. 

Classroom Decorum

Please keep cell phones and pagers on mute or vibrate.  Talking on the phone in class is prohibited.  Students are expected to respect the rights of others.  Students are also expected to adhere to the codes of conducts and ethics as set forth in the AMC Student Handbook.