Please read this page with the Syllabus:

Before Wednesday:  Finish the week’s reading on your own. Take notes in your text.  (“An unmarked text is an unread text.”)  Record key Points, Insights, and Questions, with the page numbers that spark them. Then, set aside 2-3 hours to meet your seminar team.   You will discuss the readings, share tea and ideas, and do the next assignment together:

Due each Wednesday:  EVERY team will post PIQs on Moodle:

* 3 key Points of the week’s reading, in your own words, always with page references (include a brief quote if appropriate)

* 3 substantial Questions that will be useful to discuss in seminar, also with page references for the text that motivates them.

* 3 Insights that developed from your pre-seminar discussion, perhaps by answering questions you brought to your team (also with page references and/or other sources referenced).

Goals of PIQs and pre-seminars include motivating careful reading, preparing for rich seminars, and developing teamwork skills.

Due each Saturday:  a subset of students will post their 1-page essays on Moodle:

* 300 words or less, carefully proofread and re-drafted, always appropriately cited,   always following Finkel guidelines (yes, there will be a Finkel quiz).

* Start with an open question – a substantive question, not a mere question of fact such as “what is a black hole?”

* Use your essay to explore your question with tools including our text, your intelligence and sense, and perhaps other resources.

* Go somewhere new by the end of your essay.

You will write 3 essays this quarter.  That may not sound like much, but you will find that it takes considerable care to write a really good short essay like this.

Goals of essay writing include deeper and subtler reading comprehension & analytic writing skills, and clearer communication skills, especially on complex topics.

Due each Sunday:  Respond to 4 essays written the week before your essays.

Ex:  If you are writing an essay next week, you will post responses this week.  (If you write an essay the last week, you will respond to essays the first week.)

Science Seminar students will reply to 4 peers for each essay you write – 12 total.  (Students in SciSem for 6 credits will write 4 essays and 16 responses).

* Be concise and clear.  Let’s say a word limit of 300 here too.

* Give constructive criticism – especially on content.  Help your peers pursue deeper understanding by giving them the gift of true critical feedback – kindly.

* Don’t just say, “I liked what you wrote.”  That may feel nice, but how useful is it? Try “this is interesting, but have you considered…”  Read Sandoz, Olson, and Finkel’s guidelines on peer feedback.

Goals of peer feedback include development of greater wisdom in our learning community, and clarification of our thinking and communication skills.

You’ll learn where and how to post your essays and responses online, during our Moodle workshop on Monday of Week 2.

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