Fun, interesting, and small GenEd classes designed for juniors and seniors!!! Why? Because we know that most JMU students don’t complete their GenEd requirements in two years; rather, they take GenEds across all four or five years and in tandem with courses for their majors, minors, and other degree requirements.
That’s why these innovative, new courses are INTEGRATIVE–they provide an opportunity for students with more than 60 credits to integrate knowledge and skills from across all five clusters and to connect what they are learning in GenEd to what they are doing in their majors, minors, and co-curricular activities.
Pilots will be used to fulfill the critical thinking requirement in Cluster One, unless otherwise indicated. If space permits, upper-level students may also enroll in pilot courses for elective credit. For information about the Integrative Critical Thinking Courses project (genesis, status, timeline, etc.), visit this page: General Education 300-level courses
Spring 2018 Pilots (There are five)
1. ARTH 389 Special Topics: The Art & Cultural Heritage of Islam, Dr. Sarah Brooks. Location: Student Success Center 4045, MWF 1:25-2:15
Why does preserving cultural heritage matter? How do enduring monuments define identity: personal, local, religious, cultural, and national? Can art create dialogue and understanding? Our course highlights the study of visual culture. It allows us to step outside of our own biases and comparatively study the artistic traditions of Islam around the world, including in the Middle East, Africa, and throughout the Mediterranean World. We will consider major monuments and issues, from the founding of the new faith in the early seventh century CE, up until today. Readings, discussion, collaborative teamwork, individual research and writing, and engagement with our local Muslim community, make up the core of our work together. We will focus on the traditions of the faith, and the artistic, social, political, financial, and ethical challenges to preserving Islam’s most significant monuments around the world.
The major case study we will critically examine together is the Kaaba, the most important cultural heritage monument in Islam. The Kaaba, “cube” in Arabic, is located in the city of Mecca in the modern nation-state of Saudi Arabia. Revered as the “House of God,” it is thought to have existed since the lifetime of the Prophet Abraham, in the second millennium BCE. Nearly 1.5 million pilgrims visit the Kaaba every year, including members our own campus and local communities.
We will also ask some of the most challenging questions about art in the 21st century: can art counter misconceptions about a culture different from one’s own? Can art lead to global understanding?
2. JUST 301 Civic Engagement and Comparative Political Protest, Dr. Terry Beitzel, Dir. Gandhi Center
Location: Lakeview Hall – Room 1165, Tuesdays 6-9PM (Course meets in 4VA telepresence room & will connect students at JMU with students at other universities.)
From Black Lives Matter to the Tea Party to Indivisible movements, the role of an informed, organized, and active citizenry in promoting political and social change has never been more prominent. The fundamental human right to organize and advocate is an essential element of a healthy democratic society, yet one that is often misunderstood, threatened, and poorly harnessed by citizens. This course will examine the sweep of civic and protest movements, both current and past, to better prepare students for further study in political and social science as well as their own involvement in what Mary Robinson called “part of the lifeblood of our democracy.” The class will maintain a strict non-partisan viewpoint, and cases will be examined from across the political spectrum.
Focus will be on the practical as well as the theoretical, with participative discussions on how citizens communicate with public officials, the often complex leadership structures of movements, legal frameworks and detailed case studies on the mechanics of citizen organizing. Using the 4VA telepresence room, students will hear from guest lecturers — including leaders from Indivisible, Black Lives Matter, the Tea Party, and Tunisian and Congolese human rights communities – who will illuminate what it is like on the front lines of these movements, whether advocating for a climate change accord in Paris or for better working conditions for poultry laborers in Harrisonburg.
3. SCOM 313 Communication in a (Social) Mediated Society. Prof. G. Hazard.
This course will concentrate on how we create, respond to, and evaluate messages sent and received in social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, not on the platforms themselves. Instead, the focus will be on how messages are shaped and adapted to these platforms. This will be a project-based class limited to 50 students who will collaborate with other members on a team, grapple with real-world problems, engage with social media platforms, and enhance their written and oral communication skills. Students who complete SCOM 313 will earn credit for Human Communication OR Critical Thinking in Cluster One.
4. UNST 390.01 Global Migration and Resettlement in Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1970-2020, Dr. Mary Gayne
Location: Jackson Hall 104, T & Th 11-12:15.
Students in this course will explore the recent global shifts in immigration, refugee resettlement, and transnational migration from 1970-present through accumulation, analysis, and interpretation of publicly-available sources that describe how these larger social processes are experienced and articulated in Harrisonburg, Virginia and the surrounding region. Students will learn valuable skills and competencies in Digital Humanities by presenting their discoveries and findings on an already-begun WordPress website platform called, “The World is Harrisonburg: A Global History of Immigration, Refugee Resettlement, and Transnational Migration, 1970-2020”. This pilot is a variation of HIST 150 Critical Issues in Recent Global History.
5. UNST 390.02 Representing the World in Three Dimensions, Dr. Laura Taalman
Location: Burruss 349 MW 11:15-12:30
How can we best represent the world that we live in? On paper we are limited to two dimensions, but with today’s technology we can produce three-dimensional models and visualizations that provide more descriptive artifacts of our world. This will be a project-based class in which students utilize 3D printing and design to create physical and digital representations of the world. Students will work in groups on projects and document their results publicly to share with the community. One project will involve the creation of three-dimensional visualizations to illustrate demographic and scientific data such as gerrymandering and weather patterns. Another project will involve the use of 3D scanners to capture historical objects for tactile replication and public digital collections. Additional projects may be developed according to the majors and interests of the students in the course.
No prior experience with 3D printing or design is needed for this course, although the ability and academic maturity to research and learn new things from online resources is a requirement. Students should be prepared to learn independently about software, hardware, design, and topics related to their projects. In addition, communication and documentation of results will be a key focus, and students will share their work using WordPress, Thingiverse, Shapeways, and other online communities. At the end of the semester, each group will give public presentations of their work. Due to classroom and equipment restrictions in the JMU 3SPACE 3D printing classroom (LINK: http://sites.jmu.edu/3SPACE/), this course is limited to 24 students.
ART300E: 3D Printing and the Creative Community, Prof. Daniel Robinson
MW 1:30-4:00 PM Burruss 0349 (Printing Lab)
In this class, students will use 3D printing as a way to explore a variety of creative communities and to produce creative work that moves out of the studio and into the public sphere. Through hands-on making, reading, writing, and discussion, students will critically examine themes of authorship, ownership and copyright, and the relationship between collaboration and individualism as it pertains to the Maker movement, DIY culture, and various online and local 3D printing communities.
This experimental course is approved for critical thinking credit in cluster one or VPA credit in cluster two. Seats are limited!
UNST 390: Business Decision Making & Community Service-Learning, Ron Cereola
Wanted: A Few Good Men & Women! This pilot is especially designed to offer Junior & Senior transfer students a project-based class in lieu of the typical first year classroom experience. Transfer students are at a higher maturity level than entering freshman and typically have substantial college-level credit. This class, a variation of BUS160 Business Decision Making in Modern Society, will further the development of your critical thinking skills and enable you to demonstrate those competencies considered most valued by professionals and employers: collaborating with a team, experiencing real-world problem solving, engaging with local communities, and enhancing written and oral communication skills. It will be a valuable addition to your career resume.
Participants will serve with CoB’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for low / middle income individuals. As “non- tax prep” trained individuals, you will act as greeters / intake interviewers, interpreters (particularly Spanish), computer techs (in case we have technology issues) or, if adventurous, as return preparers. If you have worked a part time or summer job and prepared your own return, I want you, as you definitely have the necessary skills and competencies to offer the type of service we will be providing. If you do not have any experience and would like to be involved in the preparation function, I can train you to prepare very simple returns using software such as Turbo Tax. I and other experienced individuals will always be on site to assist you if necessary.
UNST 390, Immigration, Refugee Resettlement, and Transnational Migration, sections 1 & 2. Mary Gayne.
Students in this course (cross-scheduled with HISt 150 Critical Issues in Recent Global History) will continue developing a global history of immigration, refugee resettlement, and transnational migration from 1970-present through accumulation, analysis, and interpretation of publicly-available sources that describe how these larger social processes are experienced and articulated in Harrisonburg, Virginia and the surrounding region. Students will contribute to building a values-driven Digital Humanities by presenting their discoveries and findings on an already-begun WordPress website platform called, “The World is Harrisonburg: A Global History of Immigration, Refugee Resettlement, and Transnational Migration, 1970-2020”. Both sections are framed around two major course activities.